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For the statements made and the view* 
expressed the author alone is responsible. 








I. General Geographical Features ... 1 
II. Founder of Tirupati A Tondaman. 30 

III. Tirupati and the early Alvars ... 52 

IV. Tirupati in Silappadhikaram ... 96 
V. Tirupati in Tirumalisai Alvar's 

Works ... 101 

VI. Tirupati and Nammalvar ... 134 

VII. Tirupati and the other Alvars ... 156 
VIII. Bhakti, the dominent Feature 

of the Age ... 185 

IX. History of Tondamaudalam ...200 
X. Inscriptions of the Chola 

Dynasty in Tirupati ... 235 

XL The age of the Vaishnava 

JLcharyas and Tirupati ... 256 
XII. Organisation of Worship at 

Tirupati by Ramanuja ... 288 

XIII. The last Cholas and their 

successors ... 312 

XIV. The Yadavarayas and Tirupati ... 342 
XV. To^daman Chakravarti The 

Human Founder of Tirupati. 375 

XVI. Tirupati under Vijayanagar ... 393 

XVII. 9 Tirupati under the Saluvas ... 453 



I. The procession image of 

Sri Venkatesa Frontispiece 

II. Tirupati hiU and surroundings ... 8 

III. &r! Venkatesa-SesAawAana 

(Serpent vehicle) ... 68 

IV. The fefl Venkatesa shrine ... 114 
V. The sanctum of Sri Venkatesa . 197 

VI. Tiruchanur-Temple and tank ... 229 

VII. Padikaval Gopuram, Tirumalai... 239 

VIII. TownofTirupati ... 293 

IX. Papanasa-T*riA(m ... 294 

X. FarSfaswMMt-Tirumalai ... 302 

XL ^M%an0a-Tlrtham ... 303 

XII. Sv&mi Pushkarini ... 306 

XIII. Vishnu's discus at the fresh water 

tank at Tirupati town ... 324 

XIV. Kapila Tirtham ... 336 
XV. Shrine of G-ovindaraja, Tirupati. 345 

XVI. Anandanilaya VimSna ... 349 

XVII. The emblem of Vijayanagar ... 425 



cluster of hills which goes by the name 
Venkatachalam hills, and the small group in 
it called the Tirupati hills, have long been the most 
famous pilgrim spots in South India and the 
latter has enjoyed an eminence equalled but by 
a few even \ip to the present time. It is in the 
fitness of things that the management, recently 
constituted for carrying on the administration of 
the affairs of the temple on the hill and its large 
properties and income, should have thought of 
getting a history of the shrine written for the 
information of the public. The first Committee 
had this question before them for consideration. 
ri Dewan Bahadur T. A. Ramalingam Chettiar's 
suggestion that I be invited to write the history 
was readily accepted by the Committee. The 
Committee's invitation was quite acceptable to 
me, as it has long been my wish to bring to a 
conclusion the enquiry, in regard to the history 
of the temple, which I started so long ago as 
1904 in writing a life-history of Ramanuja, which 
publication came in for important public conside- 
ration* in connection with the GSvindaraja shrine 
in Chidambaram. The time was rather propi- 
tious also, as the large number of inscriptions 

Collected by the Devastanam Department of 
epigraphy during the last decade had at last 
been printed and was likely to become available 
to the public. The history of the shrine in the 
following pages is based upon these inscriptional 
records for the latter period, as they furnish 
an amount of information for that period, not 
inferior to that of any other important shrine 
for the corresponding period. This period has 
reference to that following the life activity of the 
Vaishnava teacher, Ramanuja, whose connection 
with the temple and his actual services to it had 
long been a fruitful subject of controversy. 

For the period relating to Ramanuja himself 
and his active work of reorganising the temple 
worship and ritual and putting these on a footing 
of permanence, we are driven to such information 
as the material for his life-history would provide. 
That material is hardly ample enough to give us 
any detailed information in regard to the details 
of his organisation. But luckily for us, we have 
a Sanskrit work composed just a few genera- 
tions after Ramanuja which bears specifically 
upon this work. The Committee was so good 
as to sanction the republication in good form 
pf a critical edition of this work, of which 
there was an unsatisfactory Telugu edition, and 
even that had for some time been out of print. 
The then Commissioner, Sri A. Ranganatha 
Mudaliar, deserves all thanks for having enabled 

me to bring out the edition, in Devanagari 
characters, of the work, r1 Venkatftchala Itihfisa- 
mftla, which gives a detailed account of what 
took place under Ramanuja, and how that 
arrangement was allowed to continue since then. 

For the period anterior to Ramanuja, the 
sources of information are not as ample as for 
the period following. For about three centuries 
preceding Ramanuja's activity in Tirupati, we 
have some inscriptions, not many, though some 
of them do throw much light upon the history of 
the shrine and the locality surrounding it. For 
the period before the 8th century, we have to 
depend entirely upon other sources of informa- 
tion, of which the dominent sources are litera- 
ture, Tamil and Sanskrit, bearing upon the 
temple. The classical literature of the Tamils, 
the so-called Sangam works, have just a few 
references to Vengadam, which formed the 
northern boundary of the Tamil land according 
to them, and just a few which would support 
the existence of the temple at the time, and even 
of the establishment of the annual festivals for 
worship in the temple. Proceeding therefrom 
we have the work of the twelve Vaishnava 
Alvars, whose age and active work occupied the 
period from the most brilliant period of the 
Sangam age on to the last years of the 8th 
century. These works necessarily have a great 
deal to say about the temple, as i* was one of 



their holy of holies and came in for elaborate 
description from their point of view. 

While these last sources do have but oblique 
references in regard to the origin of the temple, 
they do not supply us with a satisfactorily 
detailed account, We have to go to the Paur&nic 
sources for this, and these are all brought 
together in a SanRkrit work, Vgnkatftchala 
Mnhntmyam, of which there are numbers of 
editions, several of them not quite satisfactory. 
A recent edition brought out for the Devastanam 
and not published, I have been enabled to look 
through along with the other editions. This 
work is mainly a collection of what is said in 
celebration of this holy place in the various 
Puranfts, of which eleven have extensive passages 
connected with the temple. In their own way, 
they give us a full exposition of how the 
self-existing shrine had come to notice, and 
what services it received from various people 
from time to time. This account, partaking as 
it does of the character of all the Pauranic 
accounts, still seems to let us into the secret of 
ite origin, and the time when it acually came to 
be recognised as a human institution. 

I have made use of all these sources of 
information with the care that a work like this 
deserves, and have adopted deliberately the 
method of letting the sources speak as far as 


they could, as in a controversial matter like this, 
it is much the best thing to set out the facts 
clearly and place them upon an indubitable 
footing, quite distinct from such inferences, 
etc., that one may have to deduce from these 
facts. I have done so, and the facts are there 
quite distinctly stated followed by such in- 
ferences I have been enabled to draw therefrom. 
I need hardly add that the responsibility for 
these inferences and such views as are expressed 
in the book is entirely my own. The account 
presented therefore is more or less the bare facts 
of the history of the holy shrine interspersed with 
such necessary explanation and clear statement 
of what the sources by themselves do not make 
quite clear. It is for readers to judge how well 
or ill it has been done, and to what extent it 
carries conviction in regard to the whole history 
of the shrine. 

I have been able to carry the history of the 
shrine from its probable date of foundation about 
the beginning of the Christian era down to 
practically the end of the 18th century. The 
account given for the period beginning with the 
Carnatic Wars right on is not quite as full as it 
should be owing to the absence of sources of 
information directly bearing on the period. The 
records of the British Government may contain 
information of an important character bearing 
upon the period ; but the records are not as 

yet made open to the public. What is more, 
the Government have declined to give me 
access to the records for the purpose. In the 
circumstances, I could do no more than to 
leave it as it is. 

I must in the first instance acknowledge my 
obligation to my friend, Sri T. A. Ram al ing-am 
Chettiar and the other Members of the first 
Devastanam Committee, as also the succeeding 
Devastanam Committee with its Chairman SrT 
Venkata Ranga Rayaningaru. The two Com- 
missioners, Messrs. Sitarama Reddiyar and 
Ranganatha Mudaliar were no less helpful in 
regard to the matter, as also the staff of the 
Devastanam Office on the occasion of my visit to 
Tirupati in the course of the work. I acknow- 
ledge with particular pleasure the assistance 
rendered in the course of my writing the book 
to Sahitya Siromani Pandit S. Rajagopalacharya 
and Dr. P. Srinivasacharya, M.A., Ph.D., in the 
earlier stages of the work. The index to the book 
is the work of rl T. V. Mahalingam, M. A., till 
recently University Research Student, who offered 
to do the work with alacrity. My grateful 
thanks are due to all of them for the assistance. 
The printing work has been entrusted to the 
Ananda Press. I am very much obliged to its 
Proprietor, Sri R. Madhava Rau, M. A., for much 
accommodating assistance in the course of 
printing the work, which, as will be seen, has been 


excellently^ done. The illustrations are taken, 
about one half from the Devastanam Archaeo- 
logical photo negatives, and the other from 
photographs taken by Messrs. G. K. Vale for 
the Devastanam Committee. 

I am really gratified that I have been able 
to carry the work to completion without break 
through the grace of Sri Venkatesa, to whom I 
dedicate this in token of my devotion. 

Mylapore, Madras* 






Tirupati, or far rather the group of hills lying 
in a confused coil called the Tirumalai hills, 
forms a feature of the region of South India 
between the 13th and 14th degrees of north 
latitude. The Eastern Ghats which, from the 
northern extremity of the Presidency, run close 
to the coast, turn into the interior after passing 
the river Krishna, and then break up into a 
number of parallel ranges of hills of which, in 
the region south of the Krishna and extending 
southwards to the latitude of Madras, say roughly 
13th degree of north latitude, three parallel 
ranges are distinguishable. The range nearest 
the coast runs more or less straight in one single 
range. The second range is an irregular group 
starting similarly from the Krishna well below 
Kurnool, and runs down in a semicircle into 
the Cuddapah District scattering about in a 
cluster, one group of which is called Seshachalam 
hills ; the main range however runs southwards 
till it makes a further approach to the coast, 
coming down as far as Ponneri a few miles north 


of Madras. Another range more irregular and 
nmch lower iu point of height, proceeds north- 
wards from the foot of the Mysore plateau and 
scatters itself through Anantapur and Kurnool 
districts. The central group is what is called 
Nallamalais in the Kurnool District, and, as it 
proceeds southwards from there, it becomes more 
definitely something like a single range, and 
meets the Eastern range round about the group 
of hills at Tirupati, Kajahasti, etc. These hills 
therefore form a feature of the frontier half a 
degree to the north of Madras, extending the 
whole length from the Mysore plateau and 
stretching eastwards to almost near the coast at 
Ponneri, and thus constitute a prominent 
feature of the northern extremity of the Tamil 
land. Hence it is that, in defining the boimda- 
ries of the Tamil country, they mark Vengadam, 
a prominent feature of this cluster of hills, as 
the northern boundary, the eastern and western 
boundaries being formed by the sea, and the 
southern boundary marked by the promontory of 
the Western Ghats, ending in Cape Comorin. 
The earliest Tamil grammar Tolkappiyam 
defines the boundary of the provenance of Tamil 
as such. Some of the Puranas dealing with the 
holy shrine at Tirupati liken the range of hills, 
th Nallamalais and their continuation, to a 
huge cobra lying about at ease, of which almost 






the end of the tail is marked by the great 
Siva shrine of Srifiailam not far from the 
Krishna river, beyond the 16th degree of north 
latitude and a considerable way down the river 
from Kurnool. Coming up on the back of this 
huge snake one next strikes the Vishnu shrine 
of Ahobalam * which is at the beginning of the 
tnink of the snake. At the back of the hood 
stands the hill of Tirupati, and almost at the 
opening of the mouth again the great Siva 
shrine of Kalahasti. This Pauranic description 
is rather graphic and accurate, although the 
features marked happen to be only the four 
holy places of Kalahasti, Tirupati, Ahobalam 
and Srisailam. We mentioned already the 
cluster to the west being called Seshachalam 
hills, probably the name is given from this 
feature of the whole group lying about like a 
snake, or rather a cobra lying at ease in the 
sun. This curious feature probably had its 
own share in creating the peculiar impression 
upon people journeying from a distance, and 
is probably responsible for the names given 
which, at first sight, may seem fanciful. 

is a Vaishnava sacerdotal name for the shrine 
there, is generally known to Tamil literature 
by the name Vengadam, which is one of the 



alternative names in holy parlance as well. 
Vengadam is generally referred to as a hill, 
though often the reference is as much to the 
territory surrounding it, and, when it happened 
to be the capital, the territory dependent upon 
it. In Tamil secular literature it figures as 
the northern borderland of the Tamil speaking 
country of the south. Tolkappiyam, the classical 
grammar of the Tamils, popularly believed to 
be one of the oldest pieces of Tamil literature 
extant, defines the boundary of Tamil provenance 
as between the hill Vengadam and the southern 
Cornorin (Kumari) as marking the northern 
and southern boundaries. In those days the 
seas marked the extent and the prevalence of 
Tamil on the other two sides. Therefore 
northern Vengadam (Vada Vengadam) is the 
style in which it is most referred to. To 
make the position clear, it is possible to 
quote references in which it is stated quite 
unmistakably that when one passed Vengadam 
from the south, he passed the bounds of 
Tamil on the one side and gets into a region 
where the language actually is different. That 
is usually referred to as ' Vengadam passing 
which the language changes.' Numbers of 
instances could be quoted for that from Tamil 
classical literature. So we might take it that 
Vengadam for Tirupati, is the name of the hill, 


so familiarly known to the Tamils, more or less 
as a landmark which characterised the northern 
border of the Tamil land passing across which 
one got into a region where the Tamil language 
was not spoken. 

VADUKAR. The language that was spoken beyond 
Tirupati was known to the Tamils as Vaduku, 
and the chieftains who ruled even over Tirupati 
and the regions to the west of it, were generally 
known as princes of the Vadukas (Vadukar 
Perumakan) in classical Tamil. This Perumakan 
evolves into Peruman in later Tamil which, 
in the sense of the great one, prince or king 
according to circumstances, is used as a title 
of dignity. Accordingly the language which 
they spoke is known as Vaduku which, in 
modern parlance, means Telugu. But, in the 
early centuries of the Christian era, the term 
Vaduku for the language, and Vadukar for 
the people, applied to all the people along the 
northern borders of the Tamil land extending 
from the east coast far into the peninsula, 
perhaps reaching even to the west Coast. At 
least there is one chieftain in the interior, the 
ruler of Erumai, who is referred to as Vadukar 
Perumakan, and the indication is that he held 
rule in a part of the country which is northern 


Mysore now, and the territory adjoining it. 
Certain points in this long boundary, in fact 
the points on the highway of communication 
between the north and the south, seem marked 
off as Vadukar-munai, the frontier posts of 
the Vadukar land, that is, the outposts of the 
Tamil country, where one came into contact 
with the Vadukar, the contact in respect of 
Vadukar-munai being generally contact hostile. 
This term Vadukar seems merely to represent 
the linguistically analogous Badagas of the 
Nilgiris of to-day, and it is possible that that 
happened to be the common name, at least 
so far as the Tamils were concerned, for Telugu 
and Kaiiarese together, before perhaps the two 
languages differentiated. We have to go to 
the llth or the 12th century for a distinctive 
reference describing the prevalent language in 
these regions as Vaduku, and locating both the 
Telugu and the Kanarese behind this Vaduku 
land. That distinction obtained in the days of 
Nacchinarkiniyar, the great commentator. So 
then, the whole northern borderland of the 
Tamils was Vaduku, and hence the road leading 
there to the north was described as Vadukavali, 
which may mean only one great trunk road 
leading into the Vaduka-land, although from 
some of the expressions used in the inscriptions 
of a later date, it may be possible to infer 


more than one road, as had sometimes been 
done. Hence the Tamil land was bounded 
on the north, across almost the whole length of 
the peninsula, by the land of the Vadukar. A 
prominent landmark in this northern boundary 
was undoubtedly Vengadam, and Vengadam, 
according to references in classical Tamil litera- 
ture, should have lain on the highway leading 
north from the Tamil land, as it happens to 
be even now. 


The body of literature generally known as 
the Sangam literature consists of a number of 
collections of poems which at one time must have 
been more generally current in the Tamil land. 
These seem, from their nature, poems composed 
on occasions, exhibiting various modes of compo- 
sition as a mere exhibition of poetic skill by 
their respective authors. Some time later it 
was apparently felt that these fugitive pieces 
of composition were in danger of being lost, and, 
as a practicable effort, some one was set to 
collect the most excellent of such pieces to 
provide typical illustrations of the various modes 
of composition. Presumably therefore the 
collections which have come down to us are 
composed of pieces considered the most excellent 
at the time that the collections happened to be 


made. There is one particular author who is 
reputed in Tamil literature as one who wrote the 
Bharata in Tamil, and therefore was generally 
distinguished as Perundevanar who composed 
the Tamil poem Bharatam. Perundevanar 
being a common name in Tamil literature, this 
distinction was considered necessary as, even in 
this comparatively narrow field of literature, 
there were a number of Perundevans. But this 
Perundevan who made the Bharatam must be 
distinguished from the Perundevan, the author of 
the Bharatam in Venba verses, whose time we 
know precisely. This Perundevan must have 
been an earlier author. To the well-known eight 
collections he composed the verses in invocation, 
and these poems in invocation relate to all the 
well-known deities of the Tamil land at the time, 
and not confined to one or the other of these 
exclusively. A late copper-plate charter datable 
in the tenth century ascribes the "doing of the 
Mahabharata in Tamil" to the Paiiidyan ruler 
well-known in this class of literature as the 
Pandyan "who won the victory at Talaiyalan- 
ganam." In this famous battle the young 
Pandya is said, in this literature itself, to have 
won a victory against his two rival contempora- 
ries, the Chola and the Chera, assisted by a 
number of chieftains of the Tamil land, seven of 
whom are mentioned by name. It is probably 



therefore that, it was in his reign or immediately 
after that, the collections of these poems were 
made, and the poems in invocation to these col- 
lections composed by Perundevanar, the author 
of the poem, the Mahabharata. The collections 
which have been made therefore must all relate 
to a period anterior to this Pandyan, victor at 
Talaiyalanganam. References in this literature 
therefore must be regarded as having relation to 
the period before the date of Perundevanar or 
the Pandya, victor at, Talaiyalanganam. 

references collected from various pieces in two 
or three of these collections refer to Tirupati by 
the name Vengadam, and generally to Tirupati 
as being on the northern borderland of the 
Tamils, as is made in the Tolkappiyam. In 
the actual circumstances in which the references 
do occur, Tirupati is indicated as in a region 
passing across which one passes from the land 
of the Tamils into a land where the language 
spoken was different from Tamil. Among the 
authors referring to Tirupati we can distinguish 
two authors contemporary with the Pandyan of 
of Talaiyalanganam, Kalladanar and Nakklrar. 
Poem 83 of the Ahanamiru refers to the chief- 
tain Pulli of the region surrounding Vengadam. 
He is described in this poem as Ilaignar 



Perumakan; the latter word Perumakan is a 
Tamil equivalent of prince which later became 
Peruman, meaning king. The whole expression 
therefore would mean the prince of Haignar, 
and this latter term is generally used to indicate 
hunters by profession. Another attribute which 
he uses is the Tamil term kalla which would 
mean uncultivated ; in other words, in a compa- 
ratively savage state of civilisation. In another 
poem 209 of the Ahananuru, this same author 
describes the same Pulli and his VEngadam, 
and mentions the peculiar feature that there was 
a narrow passage across the hills, described as 
a tunnel, through which one had to pass to 
emerge from the territory of the chieftain Pulli 
into the land to the northward of the region. 
Nakkirar does not refer to Vengadam as such. 
But he is undoubtedly referring to the territory 
dominated by Vengadam, where he speaks of 
Tiraiyaii and his capital Pavattiri, Reddipalem 
in the Gudur Taluk of the Nellore District. 
In another poem of the same collection, 
namely, poem 253, Nakkirar speaks of Vadukar 
Perumakan, Erumai. This Erumai comes under 
reference in a number of other poems, and by 
various authors, as the chieftain of the Vadukar ; 
but, in this poem, Nakkirar indicates clearly 
that the territory of this Vadukar chieftain lay 
in the region of the river which he calls Ayiri, 



and, passing that river, one passes from the 
Tamil land into the land of the Vadukar. Ayiri 
seems to be the Tamil equivalent of the well- 
known Mysore river, Hagari, passing near Kadur 
and through the Chitledrng District, falling into 
the Timgabadra, a well-known frontier region 
in later history between the Tamils and powers 
to the north of them. Another poet by name 
Kanakkayanar, probably the father of Nakkirar, 
as he is often described as Nakkirar son of 
Kanakkayanar, refers to the northern Vengadam 
in Aham 27, and of the breed of elephants 
infesting its forests in the course of a descrip- 
tion of a Pandya and his famoiis port, the 
pearl-producing Korkai. Other authors referring 
to Vengadam are Tayam Kannan, otherwise 
Tayangannan, who refers to Vengadam as 
belonging to Tondaiyar, and refers to the country 
of the Vadukar across the region. Similarly 
another poet Kannan son of Kattur Kilar, refers 
to Vengadam as belonging to Tiraiyan, and 
gives a peculiar feature that the elephants there 
were being fed with the tender shoots of the 
bamboo. The last but the most important poet 
of them all, and, perhaps even the oldest among 
them, Mamulanar, has seven poems in this 
collection in which he might be held to refer to 
Vengadam directly or indirectly. In poem 61 
he refers to VSnga^am as belonging to Pulli, the 



chieftain of the Kalvar, and another feature of 
Vengadam which he notes, and which is note- 
worthy, is that Vengadam was famous for its 
festivals. In two other poems 115 and 281, he 
does not refer to Tirupati. In the first he refers 
to Erunxai of Kndanadu, the chief Erumai being 
the ruler of the western country (Kudanadu). 
The other piece refers to the Vadukar, and to a 
hill where there was a tunnel for passing in and 
out, and these features come under reference in 
the course of a statement that the Mauryas 
invaded the south, pressing the Vadukar forward 
before them, passed this tunnel in the hill. In 
poem 295 however he refers undoubtedly to 
Tirupati as Pullikunrain, the hill of the chieftain 
Pulli, and refers to the country across as the 
region of the Vadukar entering which the 
language changes. In other words passing into 
the region of the Vadukar, the language changes 
from Tamil into another language, obviously 
Vaduku. In poem 311 he refers to the good 
country of Pulli and the desert past it, and 
describes the feature that the people were 
accustomed to eating the rice prepared with 
tamarind, on teak leaves. In poem 359 he refers 
to Pulli liberal in gifts. In poem 393 Pulli comes 
under reference again, and Vengadam, and 
here Pulli is described as one the words of 
whose speech are long, that is, the words are 



drawn out, as is the characteristic of some of 
these languages. There are other references 
by other authors which would confirm one or 
other of these features, though they do not 
specifically refer to Vengadam as such. 


AS IT IS. It will be noticed that although 
a number of authors of eminence in this 
collection actually refer to Vengadam, and 
give some details of features which in those 
days were regarded as characteristic of the 
hill and the region of which it was a prominent 
feature, there is no reference to the great 
shrine which uow-a-days is almost synonymous 
with the place name. Tirupati now-a-days 
means first and foremost, perhaps even almost 
exclusively, the shrine at Tirupati. The change 
of word to Vengadam, a synonym, does not 
make much of a difference. That prominence 
of the shrine does not appear to be given 
to Vengadam in the references quoted above. 
There is however one reference in poem 61 
of the Maniulanar which seems unmistakable 
in regard to this. Speaking of Vengadam 
in this poem, Mamulanar refers to it as 
Vengadam .of great prosperity, prosperous be- 
cause of its having festivals. This may be 
regarded as an unmistakable reference at least 



to the celebration of festivals there during the 
year, and of the place being much resorted to 
on that account, thereby contributing to its 
prosperity. This may justify our presuming the 
existence of the temple there, and the series of 
festivals which had early been inaugurated 
in connection with it. But it falls short however 
of the actual mention of the temple as such. 
The more so as it gives no indication even 
inferentially of the character of the temple or of 
its deity. During the period of the Sangam 
literature therefore we may take it that the 
temple may have existed, but it had not quite 
attained to the importance or the prominence 
that it attained to in the period following. 

THIS CLASS OF LITERATURE. There are certain 
points however in connection with the region 
which are worth noting with a view to the 
position of the territory in the age of the 
Sangam literature. The first point to note 
is that it is the borderland separating Tamil 
from a northern language which goes by the 
name Vaduku. The modern equivalent of this 
Vaduku would be Telugu. The people who 
are on the northern borderland of the Tamil 
country, almost the whole way across the 
peninsula are referred to as Vadukar, and 



their rulers as Vadukar Perumakan, prince or 
chief of the Vadukar. The region here referred 
to would answer to the modern division 
called Rayalu-Sima to distinguish it from the 
Andhra country proper, so far as the eastern 
half of it is concerned. In the earlier period, 
however, it is not merely the eastern but 
perhaps even the western half is equally distin- 
guishable, the region of the Vadukar having 
behind it the block of territory which, early in 
South Indian History, went by the name 
Karnataka (Tain. Karu-nadu for the land, and 
Karunadam for the language), that is, in the 
period following the age of the Sangam, and 
judging from the information so far available to 
us. The distinction is made by certain com- 
mentators, at least by one commentator of the 
Tolkappiyam. Expounding one of the Sutras of 
the Tolkappiyam itself, the commentary notes 
that the region we are concerned with was the 
region of the Vadukar ; and behind it were 
the territories where the languages current 
were Telugu in the east and Kannada in the 
west. The next point that comes out from the 
references is that the people across the border 
spoke a language different from Tamil. It was, 
in the judgment of the Tamils at any rate, a 
language as yet not much cultivated, and, 
according to them again, the pronunciation of 



words was drawling at least to the Tamil ear, 
which, from the point of view of the Tamil, 
would be true of the Telugu spoken in the 
Andhra country as distinct from the more 
southern region. The next point is that the 
natural character of the region, which was a 
forest country more or less, made the profession 
of the inhabitants hunting and cattle rearing. 
Elephants seem to have been abundant in the 
forest region, and had been tamed and brought 
into service. The next point is that the region 
was under the government of a chieftain by 
name Pulli ruling over a people who are 
described as Kalvar, possibly with the variant 
form Kalavar. Subsequently to him it seems 
to have come under the authority of a chieftain 
called Tiraiyan with a capital at Veiigadam, 
and perhaps an alternative capital at Pavattiri, 
a little further north. The next point again is 
that the territory was included in the region of 
the Tondaiyar ; in other words, it was regarded 
as a part of what was called in brief Tondai- 
mandalam, or popularly Tondamandalam in 
Tamil. The last point of importance to note 
from these references is that, at one time, the 
Cholas extended their conquests northwards to 
bring these Vadukar under their authority. 
A defeat of the Vadukar in the north and of 
the Paradavar, the fisher-folk, in the south 



happened to be mentioned in connection with a 
Chola ruler ; in another poem he is said to have 
inflicted a defeat on the Vadukar at a place 
called Pali. It becomes clear therefore that the 
region dependent upon Vengadam was inhabited 
by a people called Vadukar who were under 
their own chieftains, and became subsequently 
subjected to the authority of the Tiraiyan chief- 
tains perhaps after the defeat inflicted upon 
them by the Chola, and the Tiraiyan chieftain 
referred to here is called Tiraiyan without a 
qualifying attribute, who had his capital at 
Pavattiri, and not Ilam Tiraiyan associated with 
Kanchi as his capital, a famous character in the 
Sangam literature itself perhaps of a subsequent 

from these texts, there is one particular passage 
in the poems of Mamulanar which calls for a few 
remarks. The passage actually occurs in poem 
61 of the Ahananuru. * Freely rendered the 
passage means that, " the chieftain of the Kalvar 


stiff IT pevr 

Aham. 61. 


Who are in the habit of handing over elephant 
tusks, bartering them for liquor prepared from 
paddy, and who wore anklets characteristic 
of warriors, was Pulli famed for the conquest 
of the land of the Malavar, and for great gifts 
to those who went to him. (Your lover) it is 
rarely possible will reconcile himself to stay 
away even if he got thereby Vengadam, the 
capital of that Pulli which is prosperous because 
of the festivals celebrated in it. " The actual 
sense of the passage is that an imaginary lover 
who had departed from his sweetheart and 
travelled away in quest of wealth to distant 
parts, has tarried a little longer than he promised, 
and the consolation is offered to the heart- 
broken damsel that he might have delayed, 
but that he would not stay away under any 
circumstances. To add emphasis to this state- 
ment, it is set down that even if, in his desire 
for the acquisition of wealth, he got possession 
of such a prosperous city as Vengadam, he 
would not stay behind. The point for notice 
here is that the fame of Vengadam in the 
estimation of Mamular was due, at least in part, 
to the great festivals which were celebrated in 
the place from time to time, meaning obviously 
the annual festivals which are now a feature of 
the great temple-city. The casual statement of 
this feature has its own tale to tell. According 



to almost all the Puranas which make references 
to this shrine at Tirupati, it was a Ton<Jaman 
niler who unearthed the shrine, built a temple 
for the God thus discovered by digging up an 
ant-hill, housed the God in a shrine and 
instituted a certain number of festivals to that 
God. The evidence of the Puranas therefore is 
that Timpati became a human institution with 
a shrine and all its appurtenances only from the 
days of the Tondaman. The identification of 
this Tondaman would give us the clue to the 
actual period in which the temple came into 
being as a human institution. As a matter of 
fact, the Puranas state it that the shrine itself 
was not a human creation, but is regarded as 
the divine abode itself come on to the earth 
by the will of the God abiding there, that is, 
Visnu. We noted already that, in these poems 
alone, we note a change of rulers of the 
locality, the chieftain whose territory it was, is 
Pulli, the chieftain of the Kalvar, a section of 
the Va^ukar, and from him it becomes included 
in the territory of the Tondaiyar. Three poets, 
Tayam Kannan in Aham 213, Kattur Kllar 
Makan Kantian in Aham 85, Nakklrar in Aham 
340 speak of the ruler as Tiraiyan instead of 
Pulli. If these poets were later than Mamular 
we could take it that the territory dominated by 
Vengaijam passed from the Kalvar chieftain 



Pulli of the Vadukar people to the Tiraiyan 
chieftain. This Tiraiyan is referred to as 
having for his capital Pavattiri, identified with 
the village Reddipalem in the Gudur Taluk. 
The extent of the territory is further indicated 
by Mamular himself who refers in poem 
11 included in the Kurum-togai to the territory 
as on the borderland of the Vadukar (Vadu- 
kar-munai), and the district is referred to as 
Verkkadu Nadu where language changes. This 
Verkkadii is no other than the latter part of 
the name Pala-Verkkadu, now aiiglisised into 
Pulicat. The territory therefore forming part 
of the modern Chingleput, North Arcot and 
Nellore Districts, constituted the hilly country 
dominated by Vengadam and contained other 
cities like Pavattiri and Verkkadu ; it was in the 
territory of the people Vadukar ruled first by 
the Kalvar-chieftain Pulli, and then passing 
from him under the authority of the Tiraiyan 
chieftain, who at one time had his capital at 
Pavattiri. The question now would arise as to 
who this Tiraiyan is and whether he is the same 
as Ilam Tiraiyan of Kanchi, or different from 
him. Literary evidence is not quite decisive. 
The Ahananuru contains a number of poems 
relating to a Tiraiyan, and the fact that the 
more famous person associated with Kanchi 
and the hero of the Tamil Classic Perumban- 



arrupadai is always referred to as Ilam Tiraiyan 
would support the view that the Tiraiyan was 
an older chieftain ; and because of his existence 
the more famous chieftain coming after him 
has been called Ilam Tiraiyan, so that the two 
personages may have to be regarded as distinct 
from one another. That they were distinct 
seems to be the view of the venerable scholar 
MM. Dr. Swaminatha Aiyar. The fact that 
Kanchi is referred to as Tondaman Kanchi 
in an old quotation, and that, in another 
similar passage, the chieftain addressed is called 
Tiraiyan held to be Ilam Tiraiyan, would 
support this latter view. It is rather strange, 
however, that in a poem composed to celebrate 
Ilani Tiraiyan in particular and his capital 
Kanchi, such as the Perumban-arrupadai is, 
there is no reference to his northern territory 
or to any one of the cities which seem to be 
special features of that territory. This omission 
would perhaps be held to go against the identifi- 
cation. However, for our present purpose we 
may take it that the various literary references 
are all of them to one and only one Tiraiyan, 
Ilam Tiraiyan of Kanchi. That the organisa- 
tion of festivals in connection with temples 
we see in his time is in evidence in lines 410 
and 411 of the Perumban-arrupadai, which, 
in substance, states, that Kanchi attained to 



greater fame than the other old cities com- 
parable with it, because of various festivals 
celebrated there for the spiritual benefit of many 
peoples, rendered by the commentator, people of 
various communities in religion. In the days 
of Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyaii therefore festivals 
associated with temples had become an ordinary 
feature in towns like Kanchi. When the 
Puranas state, as they do, that it was a Tonda- 
man who inaugurated festivals in Tirupati, 
one could very well take it that probably the 
Tondaman of Tirupati fame is no other than the 
Tondaman associated with Kanchi. Tirumalisai 
Alvar has a similar reference in verse 41 of 
his Nan-Mukhan Tiruvandadi where he has a 
specific reference to the festival of Onam called 
Ona Vilavu. This festival of Onam (Sans. 
Sravana} was the earliest festival inaugurated 
in Tirupati by no less a person than Brahma 
himself and is as yet the principal festival, the 
Brahmotsava in Tirupati. The advent of the 
Tondaman to power therefore, we may take it, 
marks the beginning of temple festivals, and 
we could well believe the Puranas when they 
state it that it is a Tondaman chieftain, generally 
called Tondaman Chakravarti in Vai^ava 
parlance, that instituted these festivals in Tiru- 
pati in his time. 



Tiraiyan is a great celebrity in Tamil literature, 
and is celebrated in the poem Perumban- 
arrupadai, forming one of the collection called 
" the Ten poems " (Pattuppattu). The author 
of this poem is described as Kadiyalur Rudran 
Kannan, which would mean Kannan, the son 
of Rudran of Kadiyalur. From what is known 
of him, he seems to have been a Brahman, but 
the place from which he came has not so 
far been satisfactorily located. Though Ilam 
Tiraiyan is described as a ruler of great 
influence and importance, he is still not regard- 
ed as a crowned monarch, and is placed in a 
rank inferior to that of the three crowned 
kings of the south, Choja, Pandya and Chera. 
Such rulers are called Kurunilamannar, which 
literally translated would mean kings or rulers 
who ruled over land of a smaller extent or of 
inferior character. In other words it would 
simply mean kings or rulers of a smaller 
degree. The Tolkappiyam, the aiithoritative 
work on matters like this, classes them as of 
royal descent, but not of monarchical standing. 
As described in the poem of Rudran Kannan, 
he was the ancient ruler of Kanchi ruling over 
what, in Tamil literature, is generally described 
as Toijdamandalam, which included the vast 
region between the Telugu frontier, the 14th 



degree of north latitude on the eastern side, 
extending southwards to the river Palar, some- 
times extending as far south as the northern 
Vellar. We may take it roughly that the 
northern Pennar and the northern Vellar con- 
stituted its boundaries north and south. It 
extended westwards from the coast to take into 
it all the territory down to the foot of the 
hills bordering the plateait of Mysore, and from 
there going across through the middle of the 
present-day district of Salem. He is regarded 
as the son of a Chola ruler, generally des- 
cribed as Killi Valavan, which is more or less 
a generic name for the Chola, but is probably 
identifiable with Nedu-Mudi- Killi whose name 
figures in the Silappadikaram and Manime- 
khalai. The Perumban-arrupadai describes him 
as descended of the royal family of Ayodhya, 
in fact specifically mentioning Tirumal, gene- 
rally taken to be Rama ; but it carefully distin- 
guishes him at the same time as coming of a 
younger branch of the family, because the 
Cholas claim to belong to the family of Iksvaku, 
and, among their warrior ancestors, figure 
names like Sibi, etc. The actual passage 
under reference is " descended from one, the 
brother who came after him, who has the colour 
of the sea, who carries on his chest the goddess 
of prosperity, and who measured out the great 



earth. * " This would mean that the prince was 
descended of a younger brother of Vishnu, and 
therefore equated with the family of the Cholas 
who made a similar claim. He bore the name* 
Tiraiyan (belonging to the sea), because he was 
brought over by the sea and lashed ashore on 
the Chola coast, to be taken and brought up 
by the Chola ruler as his son. The story in 
connection with this is that the Chola ruler 
in one of his solitary meanderings along the 
banks of the backwaters of the sea in Kaverip- 
pumpattinam saw an extraordinarily beautiful 
damsel, and fell in love with her at sight. The 
damsel responded in her turn, and they carried 
on a love affair which extended to his visiting 
her in her underground residence as the 
commentators call it. This was because she 
was a Naga princess, and the Nagas usually 
live in the underworld. We shall see that it 
perhaps means no more than her parents 
were living in a place access to which could 
be obtained only by passing through a cavern 
,or a tunnel across the hills. When she became 
enceinte as a result of this liaison, she expressed 

Perumban-arruppadai II. 29-31. 


her concern in regard to the child to be born. 
The Chola king advised her to put the baby 
carefully in a box and send it afloat on the 
"sea with a twig of the creeper of the Toijdai 
(coccinia indica) tied round his ankle. If the 
baby should reach him safe, he would bring 
him up as a prince and make him king as 
becoming a prince. Some time after, the baby 
was born, she did as she was directed, and 
the baby meeting with an accident on the sea 
somehow reached the shore, and was brought 
to the Chola monarch. The king brought him 
up as his own child and appointed him to the 
viceroyalty of Kanchi when the time came. 
This story figures of course in a Buddhist 
setting in the Manimekhalai. We shall come 
to that detail a little later. He was ruling 
over the whole of Tondama^dalam with 
his capital at Kanchi. The poem Perumban- 
arruppadai describes him in the conventional 
style which demands the description of the 
foiir classes of land of which one's territory 
must be composed, the seashore, the forest 
land, hilly country and agricultural land ; and 
a fifth class has also to be marked in this, as 
some of these lands had a tendency to become 
desert land by frequent droughts and by the heat 
of the sun. This is described as desert land 
transformed into such either from forest land or 


from agricultural land. A port ,is described 
under the name Nlr-Peyartu, from which the 
PUn or musician, expert in playing on the greater 
musical instruments, such as the Tamil Yah an( i 
hence called Perum-Pan as opposed to the 
&iru-Pan, one who played on the smaller musical 
instruments, passes through various classes of 
land till he reached the town of Kanchi, the 
headquarters of Ilam Tiraiyan. This particular 
poet describes the Vishnu shrine in Kanchi 
called Veh-Ka or Yadokta-kari, and that is the 
only shrme, of all the multitudinous shrines that 
one finds now in Kanchi, which finds mention 
in this poem actually. Kanchi is described 
in this poem as having attained to reputation 
as already an ancient city where religious 
festivals were celebrated for various classes of 
people, to each according to its own conviction. 
Since the author of this poem Rudran Kannan 
has also celebrated the great Karikala in another 
poem of the same collection called Paftinappalai, 
describing particularly the city of Kaverippfim- 
pattinam, the capital of the Cholas, and is said 
to have received a very liberal reward from the 
great Chola ruler Karikala, and since this poem 
is of almost the same character and must have 
been presented to the ruler whom it celebrates, 
we have to take it that Ilam Tiraiyan came in 
the game generation as the great Chola Karikala, 



As a matter of fact we have reason to regard 
him as coming in the second generation after 
Karikala and may possibly be even in the third. 
He was contemporary with the Adiyaman chief- 
tain specifically known by the name Adikan, and 
the poetess Avvai is said to have gone from him, 
who was her patron, to the court of Ilam Tiraiyan 
on an ambassadorial mission and persuaded the 
monarch into peaceful ways. This would bring 
him into contemporaneity with the Adiyaman of 
Tagadur, another celebrity in the Sangam 
literature. There are a number of fugitive pieces 
of poetry in which he comes under reference 
either as merely Tiraiyan, or as Tondaman, 
neither of which could be described as a specific 
name. But these have been held to refer to 
Ilam Tiraiyan generally, particularly one stanza 
which is quoted as composed by a Poygaiyar, 
identifiable with Poygai Alvar as we shall see 
later. He was himself an author, and a few 
poems are ascribable to him in the collections 
which have come down to us. He is supposed to 
have been the founder of a town or city which 
went by the name Tiraiyanur. There is a tank 
which goes by the name Tiraiyaiieri to the south 
of Kanchi ; and the locality where the Mission 
Hospital and the adjacent buildings are now, is 
pointed out as the place where the Tiraiyan's 
palace and other buildings were found in ruins. 



This locality may be considered - distinct from 
the fortress of Kanchi, the part now-a-days 
called Big Conjeevaram. It may be that this 
suburb of Kanchi was called Tiraiyanur. We 
shall see therefore that he is identifiable through 
and through with Kanchi, and we do not come 
upon any reference to Vengadam, or Pavattiri, 
or even Verkkadu which we find referred to as 
in the territory of Pulli first and the Tondaman 
chieftains afterwards, as we have already stated 
before. There is however the fact that the 
whole of the territory under reference in these 
poems is included in the Tondamandalam, or as 
it is sometimes called Tondainadu. 




what has been stated above, it is clear that 
the Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan was undoubtedly 
ruling over the Tondamandalam so-called which 
included the territory dependent upon Vengadam, 
and therefore we may take it that he came 
after the cheiftain Pulli referred to in the 
iSangam literature, particularly in the poems of 
MamSlar. This should be quite in keeping with 
the trend of evidence in the Sangam literature 
itself which would bring Ilam Tiraiyan into some 
kind of a chronological connection with the 
famous Pandyan, victor at Talaiyalanganam, and 
the contemporary of Nakklrar. The names of 
both this Pandyan and the poet Nakklrar are 
intimately associated in tradition with the third 
Sangam at Madura. Ilam Tiraiyan therefore 
comes in at a time when we should expect 
him from his relationship, again chronologi- 
cally, with Karikala, and this is confirmed by 
Nakklrar's poem Aham 340 where he associates 
Tiraiyan with Pavattiri, the capital of that part 
of Tondamandalam dependent upon Vengadam. 
It thus becomes clear that Ilam Tiraiyan of 


Kanchi was probably the Tiraiyan who is 
referred to in the other poems of the $angam 
collections by various authors, and he came in 
the generation, not very remote from that of 
the Pa^4y an victor at Talaiyalanganam. The 
importance of this position consists in this, that 
the Vishnu shrine at Vehka finds prominent 
mention in the poem actually dedicated to him. 
This is among the oldest shrines of Kanchi, 
if not actually the oldest. It is mentioned 
frequently along with Vengadam or Tirupati in 
the poems of the earlier Alvars, and is regarded 
as a shrine of the greatest importance. What is 
more, the names of two 5.1vars get associated 
with the place, namely, Poygai Slvar and 
Tirumalisai Alvar. In the Vaishnava tradition 
Poygai Alvar is said to have come and wor- 
shipped at Kanchi, which is made just possible 
by the fact that this Slvar is taken to refer to 
Tiraiyan in one of the fugitive stanzas already 
referred to. That particular stanza is quoted 
as the work of Poygaiyar, not Poygai Alvar. 
But a contemporary commentary on a work of 
the eleventh or twelfth centiiry, Yapparungala- 
karikai, quotes a few stanzas from Poygai Alvar 
including the one already referred to. Two 
of these stanzas are identifiable in the first 
Tiruvandadi ascribed to Poygai Alvar in the 
Prabandha collection of 4,000. It therefore 


seems to leave no doubt that the Poygaiyar 
referred to is the same as the Poygai Alvar. 
Poygai Alvar's poems so far known to us are 
all of them in the Venba metre, and he is 
quoted along with a number of others who 
excelled in composing poems in this metre. 
Poygai Alvar is said to have come to Vehka at 
Kanchi in the coiirse of his pilgrimage along 
with his two companions Bhutattu Alvar and 
Pey Alvar, in the course of which they are said 
to have met Alvar Tirumalisai. This last 
JLlvar is closely associated with Vehka, where 
he is said to have resided habitually. In the 
course of his long residence there, he came into 
contact with a more or less secular disciple by 
name Kanikannan through whom he came into 
contact with the ruler of Kanchi, a Tiraiyan 
himself, probably Ilam Tiraiyan. The story is 
merely this. That Kanikannan was serving the 
Slvar with devotion, and, in connection with 
his service, he brought in a woman to assist him. 
She earned, by faithful service, the favour of 
the Alvar so much that she was granted by the 
Grace of God perpetual youth and unfading 
beauty, with which she was able soon to attract 
the attention of the ruler of the locality to 
become ultimately his sweetheart. In the 
course of his long dalliance he was able to learn 
from her how she came by the unfading youth 



and beauty which proved to be such an attrac- 
tion to him, and, having heard that it was due 
to the favour of Kanikannan, who served alike 
the Alvar and the God at Vehka, he sent for 
Kanikannan to see him. Finding out from him 
that he had not so much part in the matter as 
the Alvar, the king commanded the presence of 
the Alvar through Kanikannan. Kanikannan 
protested that the Alvar was not likely to go to 
see him even at the summons of the king. Wild 
with rage at what he thought was impertinent 
disobedience, he asked Kanikannan to take 
himself away from Kanchi. Kanikannan in 
due course went and reported the matter to his 
master the Alvar, and, through him, wanted 
to obtain the leave of the God at Vehka to go 
away from Kanchi. Sooner than let him go, 
the Alvar told him that he would himself follow, 
and that, if he followed, the God himself was 
not likely to stay in the place. Saying so, he 
addressed God in a verse which has come down 
to u B and begged him to follow him as he had 
decided to leave the place and go along with 
Kanikannan who had been exiled by royal 
command. The God complied and hence the 
name for the God Yadoktakari, the God who 
did as he was directed (by his devotee). The 
miracle in the story apart, the story itself is 
evidence of some kind of the contemporaneity 



which may be accepted as evidence of the 
contemporary character of Tirumalisi Alvar 
with Ilam Tiraiyan on the one side, and of his 
contemporaneity with Poygai 5lvar and his 
reference to Tiraiyan on the other. Ilam 
Tiraiyan is therefore thus brought into connec- 
tion with the first Alvars, namely, the three who 
are known as snch and the fourth, Tirumalisai. 
That marks the starting point of the history of 
Tirupati. We shall have to examine the other 
side of the tradition namely, what the Puranas 
have to say about the Tondaman chieftains who 
were responsible for the unearthing of the God 
at Tirupati, the biiilding of a temple for him 
and the organisation of worship and festivals in 
connection with it. 

tradition concerning the origin of the temple at 
Tirupati is varied in character and voluminous. 
As many as eleven different Puranas refer to 
this subject, and give the account in circumstan- 
tial detail which would strike the ordinary 
reader as quite legendary in character. Having 
regard to the character of the subject, and the 
purpose of edification for which these are sever- 
ally written, the legendary colour certainly 
would dominate. It would be surprising if it 
were otherwise. But, through all this legend, 



one can still find certain facts standing clear, 
which may be regarded as not belonging to the 
realm of pure legend, and may perhaps be regard- 
ed historical, though perhaps in a legendary 
garb owing to association. The basal fact is 
that God Vishnu had, by his choice, come to 
live in Tirupati for which an occasion and a 
stimulating cause alike seem called for. These 
makers of legend provide both by taking the 
story of the great Kishi Bhrigu's investigation 
to find the Supreme in actual fact. Once 
upon a time there was a discussion among the 
Rishis, the most devoted to God and nearest in 
service to him, as to which of the three manifesta- 
tions of the Supreme, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, 
was really the Supreme. It must be remember- 
ed that the Supreme is One, but manifests 
himself in three forms, with one of the three 
qualities, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, dominating 
in each case, and discharging functions 
suitable in consequence, which must and 
necessarily be discharged by the Supreme 
by his very nature, the three essential functions 
of creation, protection and destruction. Each 
one of these functions is allotted to one of the 
three: Brahma, having charge of all creation, 
as a result of his dominating quality Rajas, 
.energy or activity. Vishnu is given the function 
of looking after all creation with the dominating 



quality of Sattva, serene strength. Similarly 
Rudra or Siva is allotted the function of destruc- 
tion, his dominating quality being Tamas, 
generally regarded as involving unthinking 
irascibility. But at the back of all this divi- 
sion, there certainly is the notion which makes 
all the three but manifestations of the One, and, 
as such, each one of the three being regarded as 
the Supreme itself. In this notion of unity, 
there is the possibility of two classes, those who 
make Rudra the Supreme, and those who make 
Vishnu the Supreme, Brahma often not coming 
in for that claim to the same extent. It is this 
unity in variety that formed the topic of discus- 
sion of these wise ones; but they found good 
reasons for regarding each one of these as the 
Supreme, and undecided, they induced Bhrigu, 
the most favoured among the Rishis and the 
wisest among them, to make a pilgrimage to the 
various abodes of the trinity and find out 
by himself and directly by experiment. Natural- 
ly he went first to the palace of Brahma in 
Satyaloka heaven. He found Brahma seated in 
full durbar, and treated the guest who entered the 
durbar after due salutation, somewhat familiarly, 
and, without the due forms of welcome to 
which the great sage was entitled, in the belief 
that Bhrigu was after all Brahma's own son. 
Bhrigu noted the dominence of self in the mind 



of Brahma in thus regarding himself as the 
progenitor of Bhrigu, notwithstanding the height 
to which that progeny had risen by penance. 
Having noted that, he passed on next to Kailasa, 
the abode of Siva, and found the Lord God 
disporting himself with Uma, his consort. 
Resenting the freedom with which Bhrigu enter- 
ed so familiarly, even into the secret conclave 
of his own sportive dalliance, and, taking to 
heart particularly that the Goddess felt very 
delicate about the matter, he chased Bhrigu 
out of the palace in anger. Bhrigu noted this 
incident, and passed 011 the purpose of his 
mission to the palace of Vaikuutha, where the 
other member of the trinity, Vishnu-Narayana 
was in his Yoga sleep, Lakshmi in his chest, the 
other attendants, ladies and other, each in the 
appointed place. Affecting disappointment that 
the Grod, whose function was protection, should 
have thus gone to sleep, consulting his own 
comfort to the neglect of his duties, the Eishi went 
up to the sleeping God and kicked him on the 
chest to wake him up. Vishnu woke up from his 
wakeful sleep, and apologised to the Rishi for 
having shown himself so careless and wished to 
know whether his foot suffered by coming in 
contact with His own hardened chest So 
naturally, Bhrigu reported what took place in 
the three places to the assembled wise people, 



and they all voted in favour of Vishnu as the 
really Supreme One, the other two being more 
or less slaves of their dominating qualities or 
passions. But for the purpose of the Tirupati 
story, this gave the occasion for Lakshmi to 
pick a quarrel with her husband. Bhrigu's 
kick on the chest of Vishnu fell on her. She 
therefore was naturally wild that he should have 
been allowed the freedom to do such a thing, 
which did her the double insult, of the personal 
insulting treatment to her, and of the disregard 
of proprieties which the Bishi should have 
showed to her Lord. Vishnu pleaded that the 
sage was justifiably beside himself with anger at 
Vishnu's apparent neglect of duties, and that it 
would not do to deal with such people, as other- 
wise than he did. In a fit i of rage Lakshmi 
declined any more to remain on his chest, which 
had ceased to give her the protection that it 
should have, and that she thought she was 
entitled to have. Lakshmi having gone away 
from heaven, Vishnu could not go on for long 
thus bereft of his consort, and wanted to 
go away somewhere else to spend his time 
pleasantly and get on alone. After making due 
enquiries, he discovered that the hill Seshachalam 
provided a spot which would be quite an ideal 
place for his residence, pleasant to live in with 
surroundings which supplied everything that he 



would want for diverting himself in his serious 
and light-hearted moods, and so he arranged 
to come and live there. Knowing this the Rishis 
went there to perform penance. The Gods and 
Goddesses each one contributed what he or she 
could to make the place pleasant, and thus fitted 
out, God Vishnu came into residence there 
abandoning Vaikuntha itself, lie had been there 
aeons of time, and when we come to the parti- 
cular Manvantara (Cycle of Manu) with which 
we are concerned, he showed himself there in 
the form of the primeval boar carrying the 
Goddess of the Earth, redeemed from the deep. 
This is indicated as the Varaha shrine on the 
west of bank of the tank on the hill at Tirupati 
called Vishnu Tirtha now, and after a con- 
siderable length of time, and, for the purpose 
of showing himself to a devotee who had long 
been performing penance to him, he assumed 
the form of Srinivasa, God bearing Lakshmi on 
his chest, for his benefit, and thereafter lay 
buried in the earth. Ultimately some cowherds 
discovered the cows that they brought to graze 
over the hills, going up an ant-hill and milking 
of their own motion, and returning home dry. 
The king of the locality whose cows they 
happened to be, got informed of this phenomenon, 
and went down to investigate. Digging up the 
ant-hill, he discovered the God in a small shrine, 



well within the bowels of the earth. He got the 
spot dug up, and, unearthing the simple shrine, 
built a brick temple round it, and provided it 
with all that would make a temple of it. That 
is the famous rmivasa shrine at Tirupati, and 
with this temple we emerge from legend perhaps 
into history. 


first question that would arise is, who is this 
Toiidaman who laid the foundations of Vishnu 
worship in Tirupati, in proper form, with the 
temple and all its appurtenances. We shall 
have to go a little further into the Puranic 
story itself to gain the clue to an identification, 
if an identification for him is at all possible. 
A Tondaman who was a great devotee of Vishnu- 
Vishnu at Tirupati and one in whom the God 
was deeply interested, interested to the extent 
of lending him his own characteristic weapons 
of the disc and the conch to bring him success 
in war, was given by him solemnly the highest 
teaching that a Vaishnava could desire, directly. 
We come upon references to a Tondaman who 
had earned the favour of the Supreme deity 
so far, as to have had these acts of grace in 
his favour directly from God himself, in the 
Prabandha literature. These therefore must 
have been based upon well accredited tradition, 



if they do not have a really historical basis. 
The Parana stories however, continue that, 
after the foundation of the temple in the manner 
described above, and providing for worship 
therein, the Grod, having been deprived of the 
company of Lakshmi in the manner previously 
described, and, having elected to come down 
and live in Tirupati in consequence, was 
accustomed to diverting himself by hunting and 
such other engagements, habitual to him. In the 
course of one of these hunting expeditions, he 
happened to come upon a beautiful damsel in 
one of the deep glades of the forests round 
Tirupati. He discovered on enquiry, that the 
beautiful damsel was no other than the princess, 
the only daughter, and that, one not born to 
him, but bestowed on him by divine favour 
having been discovered by him in the forests. 
The ruler is known to Puranic tradition as Akasa 
Raja, otherwise described by the synonyms 
of the word Akasa, whose queen bore a name 
synonymous with the earth, as if to give away 
the secret that the young lady concerned was 
the daughter, even as the foster-daughter, of 
the earth and sky, as if to take her away 
altogether from the human category. We may 
infer that this Raja belonged to the family of 
the Tondaman chiefs, as he is said to have 
had a younger brother who went by the name 



Tondaman who assisted the elder brother in 
sundry acts of administration and seems to have 
been more or less directly entrusted with the 
government of the region round about Tirupati 
itself. The Puranas certainly display all their 
resources in describing the marriage that was 
brought about between this foster-daughter of 
the " sky-king " and the God himself, accounting 
for this strange alliance by the story that when 
Sita threw herself into the fire to prove her 
innocence, at the end of the Ram ay ana, she 
prayed to be restored to her husband the great 
God Vishnu himself, and the restoration was 
brought about in the human fashion in the 
marriage of PadmavatI to God Venkatesa at 
Tirupati. This is what is generally described 
as the marriage of Venkatesa or the marriage 
of Srmivasa, a story much affected by the 
professional story-tellers who perform Harikathas 
for purposes of edification. We may pass over 
these details as of no particular importance to 
the unravelling of the history of the temple. 
After the marriage was over and PadmavatI 
returned to her original place, Akasa Raja ruled 
for a short while and passed away, along with 
his queen, leaving only a young son who was 
born some time after the discovery of the baby 
PadmavatI herself. Since Akasa Raja associated 
with himself in his administration his younger 



brother, Toijidaman, the uncle and the nephew 
who was a young prince, went to war to decide 
who was to succeed Akasa Raja as ruler. Both 
of them being, each in his own way, a super- 
man, the war proved undecisive ; but, in the 
course of it, the uncle Tondaman felt his 
physical resources ebbing away and prayed to 
God for help. It was 011 that occasion that 
Venkatesa is said to have parted, with his disc 
and conch for the use of this ruler. The war 
terminated however, without being clearly and 
decisively in favour of either. So ultimately 
they came to a compromise, and arranged to 
rule the vast territories of Akasa Raja in two 
parts, the parts nearer Tirupati being given 
to the uncle, and the rest of it farther away 
to the nephew. The prince built for himself 
a capital lower down the river and ruled 
his kingdom in great prosperity, while the 
Tondaman ruled from the original capital 
Narayanavaram, and did far more service to 
the temple, and in fact laid the foundations of 
the organisation and worship that obtain in 
Tirupati even down to modern times. It is in 
connection with this Tondaman in the course 
of his service to the temple that we find mention 
of a secret passage through the hill leading 
from his capital up to the temple itself, to which 
the king could go from his capital unseen of 



others and quite unmolested. It was he that 
organised from time to time the various annual 
festivals, the first of which is the BrahmotSava 
in the months of September October of the year. 
The principal festival known is the BrahmotSava, 
and probably this festival is what is referred to 
by Tirumalisai Alvar as the Ona-Vilavu (the 
&ravana-f estival) . 


CHARACTER. This Tondamaii ruler seems to be 
more or less a historical person, although, as we 
find in the tale recorded in the Puranas, there is 
much that is said of him which may be 
legendary, as certainly all that is said of his 
more illustrious brother, the Akasa Raja, on the 
face of it appears to be legendary, even including 
his own name and that of the queen. It is just 
possible, notwithstanding the legendary details 
connected with him, to regard this Toncjaman 
as a historical character from the fact of his 
building the temple, and his organisation of 
worship there. Notwithstanding this probability, 
one might well ask the question whether we 
have any evidence on which to base a definite 
statement like that. The legends and the 
Puranas themselves appear to give a clue to 
this. One of the versions tries to define the 
time when all this organisation took place at 



Tirupati, and states specifically that it took 
place in the Kaliyuga when the Yuga had 
advanced sufficiently to have given occasion 
to the institution of the era which now-a-days 
goes by the name Vikramaditya, and say 
definitely that the other era known to the 
Hindus, that of the &aka had not yet come into 
existence. This would mean a period of time 
between 67 or 58 B. C. and 78 A. D. the period 
of time to which we have arrived by our previous 
line of enquiry, entirely independent of this 
Puranic tradition. We found that the region 
dependent upon Vengadam or Tirupati changing 
hands from the Kalvar chieftain Pulli, and 
passing into the possession of the Tondaman 
chieftains before the time of the great Pandyan 
victor at Talaiyalanganam, from references in 
the Sangam literature. That very literature 
gives us a Toijdaman, ruling from his northern 
capital at Pavattiri, Reddipajem in the Gudur 
Taluk, and held rule over the northern 
Tondamandalam. We have referred rather 
more elaborately to another Tondaman that 
literature knows of, namely, the Tondaman Ilam 
Tiraiyan. So we seem to have now three 
Tondamans before us, the Tondaman or 
Tondaman Chakravarti referred to in the 
Puranas, the Tiraiyan of Pavattiri or northern 

Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan 



of Kanchi. Whether all these three were the 
same, or how they are to be connected one 
with the other is a problem which has to be 
considered now. 


We have already seen that some of the literary 
references seem to leave the question open 
whether the Tiraiyan of Pavattiri and llam 
Tiraiyan are one and the same. It seems on 
the whole the best course to take it that the 
two Tiraiyans are different from each other ; at 
least those that were contemporaries of llam 
Tiraiyan and those who wrote of him either as 
contemporaries or later seem to be under the 
impression that he was different as they call him 
distinctly llam Tiraiyan which would presume 
an Elder Tiraiyan. If we should therefore 
take the two to be different, we shall have two 
rulers coming one after the other perhaps with 
an interval of time it may be a generation or 
perhaps even a little more. The title Tiraiyan 
would indicate the family to which they 
belonged. The name Tondarnan would really 
mean " the chief man among the people 
Tondaiyar ", at any rate, the person who was 
ruler of the people called Tondaiyar, the 
inhabitants of Tondainandalam, in fact, the 
people who gave the name Tondaman^alam to 



the locality. Even some of the Puranas seem 
to refer to these Tondaman rulers as of the 
Chola family. The Tondaman who built the 
temple at Tirupati and organised worship 
there is the son of a Chola ruler through a 
Tondaman princess whom he used to meet 
in a love adventure, through a secret passage 
leading through considerable distance. The 
association therefore between the Tondamans 
and the Cholas is thus made clear even in the 
Puranas. This connection is specifically stated 
in the poem Perumban-arruppadai, mainly to 
celebrate the liberality of the patron Tondaman 
llam Tiraiyan. Whether this would really 
warrant our identifying the Tondaman llam 
Tiraiyan, with the Tondaman associated with 
the Tirupati temple, is a question which requires 
careful consideration. 


noticed that the region round Tmipati passed 
from the hands of the Kalvar chieftain Pulli to 
chieftains known as Tondaman, and that at least 
one Tondaman is referred to as having ruled 
from Pavattiri over northern Tondaniandalam, 
the country dependent upon Tirupati. We do 
know of another Tondaman, the famous 
Tondaman llam Tiraiyan of whom we have some 



details of information in the same Tamil 
classical collections, particularly one poem 
exclusively devoted to him by a poet Kadiyalflr 
Kudran Kanijan, who has also a similar poem 
on the great ruler Karikala. A Tondaman is 
actually referred to in the Puranas as being 
specially attached to the God at Tirnpati, and 
rendering great service to the temple there by 
constructing it for the first time and organising 
the worship. Of course, we shall have to take 
it> on the basis of these Puranic accounts them- 
selves, that this was in all probability the 
Tondaman to whom the God at Tirnpati showed 
particular favour, by lending him his warlike 
weapons, and by giving him instruction in the 
secret of the eight letters (Ashtakshara). Apart 
from the personalities named, all the three 
sources of information collated go to show that 
there was a dynasty of rulers in northern 
Tondamandalam dominated by Vengadam who 
went by the general name Tondamans. But 
there is one aspect of history in regard to these 
which deserves particular consideration. Speak- 
ing of the Tondaman who rendered devoted 
service to the temple at Tirupati, the Puranas 
refer to his having been the son of a Chola 
ruler, as the result of his love to a princess of 
the country, whom he was in the habit of 
jaeeting by going through a secret passage 



which may, in modern language, be described 
as perhaps a tunnel or a natural cave through 
the hills. Of course, the Puranas describe it as 
a bhilam, a hollow underground going into the 
depths of the earth. The Tondaman devotee of 
the God at Tirupati was thus of the Chola 
lineage through, of course, a princess of the 
locality, who might have been a princess of the 
family of the To^daman rulers. The Tondaman 
Ilam Tiraiyan is described in terms in the 
Perumban-arruppadai as having been born of a 
Chola as well, but by a Naga princess, whom 
the Chola king met in the city of the Nagas, 
Nagapattinam, and with whom he carried on 
secret love by going to her through an under- 
ground passage which would be the equivalent 
of bhilam of the Puranas. Biit this story of a 
Naga connection for a Chola ruler and an off- 
spring like this is referred to, in a Buddhist 
setting, in the Magimekhalai, and all details 
concerned being taken together would seem to 
indicate the Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan, the off- 
spring of a Chola ruler, successor either 
immediate, or one degree remote, of the great 
Chola Karikala. But the story here differs in 
this particular. She was a Naga princess 
undoubtedly, but met the Chola ruler in the 
outskirts of his capital at Kaverippumpattinam at 
the mouth of the river Kaveri, not Nagapattinam, 



the city of the Nagas, as Nacchinarkkiniyar 
explains the passage in the Perumban-arruppadai 
which is actually worded much more generally 
and without specific details which would lead 
to an identification. The question naturally 
would arise whether we should identify the 
Tondaman attached to the Grod in the temple 
at Tirupati, with Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan. 
While there is nothing in the story specifically 
to lead us to an identification, the circumstantial 
details given seem to make it possible that the 
two personages were perhaps the same ; but 
that is hardly enough for a positive identifi- 
cation. The Perumban-arruppadai which gives 
specific details regarding the Tondaman Ilam 
Tiraiyan and mentions the Vishnu temple at 
VehkS at Kanchi, makes no mention whatever 
of Tirupati, nor of Ilam Tiraiyan's association 
with Tirupati. This omission on the part of a 
poet who had laid himself out elaborately to 
sing the praise of Ilam Tiraiyan is significant, 
and stands against an identification between 
the two. We have therefore to take it that the 
family of the Tondamans that ruled over northern 
Tondamandalam had established itself and 
achieved a certain amount of distinction before 
Ilam Tiraiyan came into existence and attained 
to fame, while it may not debar the connection 
between the family of Ilam Tiraiyan on the 



mother's side with the Tondaman chieftains of 
the region round Tirnpati. We may therefore 
have to take the Tondaman devotee of Srmivasa 
referred to in the Puranas as one who came before 
Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan, though the possibility 
of Ilarn Tiraiyan's mother being connected with 
the Tondaman ruler is still made possible. 
Therefore the Tondaman of Tirupati probably 
came in the generation previous to Tondaman 
Ilam Tiraiyan with whose family the Chola 
king could have been brought into contact by 
the conquest of Tondamandalam by the Chola 
ruler Karikala. Ilam Tiraiyan therefore must 
have been a ruler of Kanchi who came some- 
what later than the Tondaman of Tirupati. We 
shall now proceed to consider how far other 
evidence supports this position. 





AUTHORS AND THEIR AGE. The iii OB t prominent 
piece of literature which throws a considerable 
amount of light upon the early history of 
Tirupati is " the Prabandha Four Thousand ", 
which is a collection of 4,000 stanzas of Tamil 
poetry, celebrating the 108 places of worship 
sacred to Vishnu by a certain number of 
devotees, generally counted twelve, who, because 
of their single-minded devotion and the 
consequent nearness to God, are called Alvars. 
The general period to which the whole body of 
this literature is referable happens to be the 
five centuries 300 to 800 A. D. These did not 
all of them live at one and the same time, and, 
if the age of each one of them is not as yet 
precisely fixed, a broad classification of these 
into early, middle and later, can well be adopted 
as a recognised method of classification, and the 
probable period of time in which each one of 
these groups flourished seems also ascertainable. 
Without going into the whole of that question 
here, we may take it that three among them 
are known as the first Slvars, described as the 



singers in classical Tamil (Sen Tamil) by 
Tirumangai Alvar, namely, Poygai, Bhutam 
and Pey, and one other that follows, namely 
Tirumalisai. These four constitute the early 
Alvars. Of these comparatively little is known 
in the matter of life details, and in consequence 
we are left without much material by way 
of data for fixing their actual period of life. 
From the internal evidence of their works, 
however, it seems possible to come to some 
fairly definite conclusions in regard to their 
period of activity, and this, in itself, would 
throw a flood of light upon the history of a 
shrine like Tirupati, not to mention other 
general questions, such as the rise of the cult 
of Bhakti, and of the school of Vaishnava 
worship generally known as the Pancharatra, 
or S-gamaic worship more generally. This 
latter class of literature lays down the norms 
of the life of a devotee, and prescribes the 
various forms in which worship should be 
conducted by differing classes of people, with a 
view to achieving the ends of existence here, 
and attaining to a permanent one hereafter. 
It is this form of religion which postulates the 
existence of a personal god with attributes, 
capable of being pleased by service and of 
accepting devotion with a view to secure His 
grace ultimately and attain to salvation thereby. 



These Alvars are devotees of Vishnu in that 
sense, and their works contain in them how 
exactly they devoted themselves to the service 
of Grod and attained ultimately to His grace, 
thereby providing, at one and the same time, 
not only an account of their edifying achieve- 
ment, but also lays down a course of conduct 
which a devotee might follow with advantage to 
achieve the same supreme purpose. 


WORTH. Coming* down to their earthly history, 
we know almost nothing historically of the first 
three except that they were men who were born 
in different places and on different dates not 
much removed from each other either in point of 
place or in point of time. They led a single 
wandering life going from place to place, and 
visiting Vaishnava holy places. The detail bring- 
ing the three together happens to be that they 
all met on a rainy night in the narrow vestibule 
of a small house in Tirukkovilur with a view to 
protection from the inclemencies of the weather. 
The first one who came there went in, and 
finding the platform that is generally found in 
village houses between the front door and the 
interior door leading into the house to one side 
of the passage, vacant, lay down there for the 
night. The second one came there seeking 
refuge similarly from the inclemencies of the 



weather, and he knocked at the front door. 
The one that was already there answered that 
all the room that there was, was enough for 
one to lie down. Finding that the second 
one was a Vaishnava in distress, he added 
that, if there was room for one to lie down, 
certainly it would be room enough for two 
to sit on, and opened the door ; and the two 
determined to sit out the night on the narrow 
payal. A short time after the third one came 
and knocked at the door similarly, and the 
two replied, as the one in the former case, 
that the place had jiist room for two men to sit 
on, and that, if two men could sit, it would be 
possible for three men to stand, and so the third 
one got admitted ; and all the three resolved to 
stand out the whole night, and save themselves 
from the violence of the weather, it is said that 
God Vishnu, installed in the temple in the 
locality, was pleased with their devoted service 
to him, and, wishing to show himself to them, 
came with his consort Lakshmi, without whom 
he does not usually proceed, particularly where 
acts of grace are intended, and, seeking admis- 
sion as the others did before, almost squeezed the 
three out of their place by extending his body 
gradually and pressing them out. In the course 
of this process it dawned upon them that they 
were being tested by no less than God himself, 



and they broke out into song in praise of God, 
each one of them his own way. Each one of 
these is the author of one centum or a hundred 
of the Prabandha referred to above, and these, 
along with certain other pieces of literature of 
this school, constitute one main division named 
lyarpa in the Prabandha. 


these the first, aiid by far the most interesting, 
is Poygai llvar. Poygai is the author of the 
first centum of the last thousand of the Four 
Thousand in the Prabandha. The first part of the 
word Poygai means a tank, a bathing tank, 
attached to the temple at Vehka in Conjeevaram. 
Alvar is the sacerdotal honorific given to this 
class of Vaishnava devotees, holy ones in near 
association with God himself. He seems to be 
the person referred to by commentators, particu- 
larly by one commentator on the Alankara 
grantha named Yapparungalam belonging to 
the llth or 12th century A. D., to which a 
commentary was written by a disciple of the 
author himself. This commentator qiiotes two 
stanzas from this centum, namely 40 and 51, 
as extracted from the author Poygaiyar. The 
latter part of the word in Tamil is a respectful 
honorific meaning a person belonging to or born 
in Poygai. So the difference of this designation 



from that of the previous one consists merely 
in this that the person so referred to is not 
given the Vaishnava sacerdotal name, but still 
the quoting author feels that he ought to be 
referred to, or quoted with, due respect as the 
esteemed one coming of Poygai, the place. 
He is referred to by others as one who composed 
principally in the Ve$ba metre, and is counted 
as a model in that kind of composition along 
with other ancient Tamil classics famous for 
that. So this Alvar was not only a Vaishnava 
devotee, but one who occupied a high place 
among the celebrities in Tamil literature. The 
question whether he is the same as the one 
who composed the Kalavali Forty, celebrating 
the victory of the Chola king Semkan over a 
contemporary Ohera ruler, Kanaikkal Irumporai, 
is more open to doubt. The first centum ascribed 
to him was sung by him when the idea dawned 
upon him that it was Grod Vishnu himself that 
was practically elbowing them out of the narrow 
payal where he and his two companions had 
found shelter from the inclement weather. This 
idea is said traditionally to have risen in the 
three simultaneously, and each broke out, in his 
own characteristic way, into praising Vishnu in a 
hundred verses. The first Poygai made the 
whole universe, the lamp vessel, the oceans, the 
ghee for feeding the lamp, the sun himself, the 
burning wick, and, lighting such a lamp, he 
placed, at the lotus feet of the One with the 



idazing disc, his garland of verse in order that 
the great ocean of evil besetting him may leave 
him. The second in his own way made his own 
loving devotion (anbu) the lamp vessel, his 
ardour (dravam) for service the ghee for feeding 
the lamp, and his mind melting with goodness, 
the lamp wick. He lighted the lamp of true 
knowledge (gnana) and dedicated it to God 
Narayana, as one capable of incorporating his 
divine knowledge in Tamil verse. The third on 
the contrary broke out " Lo, I see the Goddess 
ri. I see the golden body, I see the colour 
of the rising sun. I see the glorious disc. I see 
the dextral conch. I see all this in Him of the 
colour of tlie ocean, dear to me. " The upshot 
of all the three is that the unlocked for and 
the ununderstood incommoding of these people 
by a pressure for which they could not divine a 
cause, put them in mind of the Supreme, and 
this community of thought runs through and 
through the three centums, though of three 
separate authors. 


Our concern in regard to these three centa of 
verse is not so much their import or philosophy, 
but merely their bearing upon the history of 
the shrine at Tirupati. The first of these Poygai 
has as many as 12 to 15 direct references to 
Tirupati in the centum ascribed to him. He 
refers to the place incidentally as one of the 



places in which Vishnu in his grace has shown 
himself to mortal eyes for purposes of devotion 
and worship, so that people in this sin-promoting 
world might find it possible to realise the 
Supreme, and, by that means, shake off the 
shackles of the results of their deeds and attain 
to ultimate salvation. These references are 
of the utmost importance as they give us an 
insight into some of the characteristic features 
of the shrine, and have also been in a way 
responsible for certain false theories as to 
the actual character of the temple itself. The 
first point, a point perhaps of the greatest 
importance, is certain peculiar features in the 
image of the Grod at Tirupati which made it 
possible for raising a doubt whether the image 
enshrined in the temple is actually an image 
of Vishnu or iva or some other manifestation. 
Without going into the claims set up and 
adjudicating as between rival claims, we shall 
have to consider what exactly these authors 
have said about the temple. Stanzas 5 and 74 * 

* Jjirear iBrnreoorear 

> GTlfl&ITIT QlLGsflQ(UlTar gjj. (5) 

ar (terr sLpevrreor siruLf (74) 



of the first centum run like this. "His name, 
Aran (Hara) and Naranan (Narayana), His 
vehicle, the bull and the bird ; His word, the 
book (Tarn. Nul equiv. Sans : Tantra, the 
Agamas), and Marai (Veda) ; the house of 
residence, the hill (Kailasa) and the waters 
(the ocean) ; His function, destruction and pro- 
tection ; the weapon in hand, the trident-spear 
and the disc ; His form, though one, is fire 
and dark cloud. " This is almost repeated in a 
somewhat different form in stanza 74 where it 
is said " He rides the bull and the bird. He 
burnt the castle (the three castles in the air) 
and broke open the heart (tore up Hiranya's 
chest with his claws as man-lion (Narasimha) ; 
He is smeared over with ash (Vibhuti) ; He is 
of the saphire blue colour. Part of His body 
is a lady (Parvati), and in one part is the lady 
born of the lotus, Sri or Lakshmi. His coiffure, 
the long matted locks ; His head covered by 
a tall crown; He wears the Granga (Ganges) 
on His head (Siva), and on His lengthening foot 
(Vishnu Trivikrama) ". Here it will be clear that 
Grod is described as though he were possessed 
of a twin form, each with its own characteristic 
set of features and weapons ; and, superficially 
interpreted, it might be held to mean that the 
form of the image is, to say the least, Hari 
Hara in one, Vishnu-Siva; and so it has been 



seriously held on this evidence, and the con- 
tention raised that the temple was actually a 
Siva temple. These two stanzas of which a 
translation is given above have certainly no 
reference to Vengadain or Tirupati in either of 
them. But it may not be so baseless to regard 
it as applying to Tirupati, because Tirupati is 
under reference in this author in a number 
of places, and, on the whole, some of the 
less usual and more recondite features of the 
image at Tirupati seem to lend colour to this 
interpretation. Before proceeding to draw the 
important conclusion whether it is a Siva shrine 
or a Vishnu shriae on the statement of this 
author, we are bound in simple fairness to 
interpret the author of the centum as a whole, 
first of all to ascertain whether the deity having 
the greatest appeal to him is really Siva or 
Vishnu, doubtful details notwithstanding. The 
Vaishnava holy places are 108, and the Siva 
holy places are supposed to be 1,008. In all the 
works of these it would be difficult to trace a 
reference to any one of the oaiva holy places 
as such, while all the holy places referred to 
by their specific names happen to be Vaishnava 
holy places. The first is Srirangam in stanza 
6, Vengadam itself in a number of others, 
Vinnagar, Vehka, Tirukkovilur (in 77). Of 
these places mentioned by him, it is doubtful 



if Vinnagar has reference to a place on earth, 
as in this place God Vishnu is said, in that 
stanza, to be seated which is taken to be only in 
heaven (Vaikuritha). There are places called 
Vinnagar, one very prominently near Kumbha- 
konam, where the posture of the image 
representing God is not that. The other places 
are within comparatively easy reach of Kanchi, 
which is the birthplace of this Alvar, Vehka 
is in Kanchi itself. Tirukkovilur is not at 
any great distance from it, and so Vengadam. 
orirangam may be counted a little farther, but 
perhaps the great reputation of the shrine may 
have brought it within his reach. These three 
5lvars are said to have been moving from place 
to place on pilgrimage bound, although we do 
not find them mentioning the more distant places 
as the other Alvars do. But what is really more 
useful for our purpose is that Poygai was 
associated with the town of Kanchi directly, the 
more so than even Tirukkovilfir, and the details 
that he gives of Tirupati would perhaps warrant 
an equally intimate acquaintance. The reference 
to orirangam is however only a single reference, 
and that says actually nothing more about the 
place than that he saw and worshipped God 
enshrined there. The most therefore that we 
could say about it is that he visited Srirangam. 
In regard to Tirupati, however, stanza 26 refers 



to Tirupati, the saving grace of which is enjoyed 
by the Gods themselves. In stanza 37 there is a 
more explicit reference. It refers to Vengadam 
again as " a place acceptable to the God who 
blew the beautiful white conch, which receives 
constant worship from people of great learning 
who offered daily worship with incense, lamp, 
holy water, and proceeded to offer the worship 
from all directions." There is a similar reference 
to Vengadam in stanza 39 where the God " who 
lies on the deep blue sea, who lifted the earth, 
and who killed Kamsa by striking fear into him, 
is in a standing posture." Stanza 40 refers to 
Vengadam as well, but gives only a secular 
feature of the place where elephants are referred 
to as if threatened by the falling stars in the 
belief that they were torches held by the Kuravars 
of the place. There is another reference in 
stanza 68. This reference again is rather more 
general, that " the God Vishnu is in the heaven 
on earth " in Vengadam, and in the four Vedas. 
Stanza 76 refers to Tiruvengadam describing the 
God there as the one who measured the earth 
(Vishnu-Trivikrama), Stanza 77 similarly refers 
to Vengadam where the image of God stands 
along with the other three places, Vinnagar, 
Vehka, and Kovaliir in which respectively He 
sat, He lay in bed and He walked. In stanza 82 
there is a reference to Vengadam, but the 


description of the place given here is worth 
noting for more reasons than one. Vengadam is 
here described as the hill of him who on a 
former day shot effectively the deer (Rama 
killing the deer Maricha). But the description 
of the hill is interesting. It says that on 
Dvadais (the 12th lunar day) ladies were 
accustomed to offer worship with garlands and 
incense, which latter sent up so much smoke 
which made the sky itself clouded and the stars 
indistinct. * It must be noticed here that ladies 
were accustomed to offering worship, naturally 
with incense and flowers. It happened to be 
particularly on the 12th day of the fortnight. 
This Dvadai festival is counted the holiest 
among the large number of annual festivals 
organized in connection with the shrine at 
Tirupati, and the 12th day is described in the 
Puranas as peculiarly holy in respect of Vishnu 
and that in Tirupati. Stanza 86 does not refer 
to Tirupati but refers to Tirukkovilur, and to the 
incident of the meeting of the three Alvars that 
took place at Ihe vestibule of the house there. 
The last reference to Tirupati is in stanza 99 
where Vishnu is spoken of as Eternal, and being 





in the heart of everyone who is capable of 
thinking of Him, as He is habitually in residence 
on the waters, and in the hill of Vengadam. In 
all these stanzas where there is a reference to 
Vengadam,- while some references are general, 
a number, however, make specific reference to 
Vishnu as the presiding deity, either in general 
terms, or in one of his innumerable manifesta- 
tions, thus leaving very little doubt that the 
Alvar regarded the shrine in Tirupati as a Vishnu 
shrine. This could be reinforced by the state- 
ment in stanzas 58, 64 and 65 which give 
evidence that the Alvar is devoted only to 
Vishnu and to nobody else, thereby raising 
the presumption that he worshipped Tirupati, 
only as a place holy to Vishnu. But as if 
to put the matter beyond a doubt, he refers in 
two stanzas * to his conviction that the Grod in 
Tirupati is Vishnu beyond a doubt. He states 
in stanza 98 that " the golden coloured holy 
One with the matted locks (Siva), and the 

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One who stood and stretched out to measure 
the universe (Vishnu-Trivikrama), though these 
two may move about and have their being in 
two bodies, the one of them (the former of them) 
is in the body of the other one (the latter) ; 
this would explain, and perhaps is meant to 
explain, the conviction of the author that Vishnu 
could be represented as bearing iva in his 
body. This is made the more clear in stanza 
28 where Vishnu is addressed directly ; " Oh, 
Dark One ! In your hands are the dextral 
conch, and the disc. In your chest rests the 
flower born (Lakshmi). In your navel is the 
young author of the Veda. In one part of 
the body generally described as on the right 
side is the Irai (king) who destroyed the three 
fortresses (SSiva) ". So far therefore as Poygai 
lvar is considered, he may be regarded as 
a strict worshipper, whose devotion was paid 
only to Vishnu, who could regard the worship 
of other deities particularly Siva and Brahma 
as not altogether unobjectionable, as in the 
last resort they form but a part, in orthodox 
Vaishnava notion, of the body of Vishnu himself. 
On this basis therefore if we find the image 
in Tirupati sometimes described as exhibiting 
features of oiva which is really the material 
point here, it is only in this aspect of iva 
forming a part of Vishnu's body, Vishnu being 


the soul, all else in existence being His body. 
It is only another way of stating the principle 
of immanence of Vishnu. It would not therefore 
do to fasten upon stray references, and one 
or two expressions, such as Ilam Kumaran 
tan Viqqagar as implying that the presiding 
deity at Tirupati is Ilam Kumaran (the 
youthful young man, and therefore Subrah- 
manya). It cannot be so interpreted as the 
youthfulness of the deity is under reference in 
dozens of other places where the frolicsome 
youth is unmistakably described as the youth- 
ful Krishna, Balakrishna, and as such, the 
equation with Subrahmanya, Skanda-Subrah- 
ma^ya cannot hold. We may very well point 
out here that the idea is not peculiar to this 
Alvar, and is rather one of those general ideas 
constituting the Vaishnava conviction. The 
sentiment runs through the works of all the 
AJvars, and we might refer here prominently 
to stanza 481 of the Tiruvaymoli where Siva 
of the bull-vehicle, Brahma of the four faces 
and Lakshmi alike claim parts of his body for 
their habitual residence. It therefore becomes 
clear that the conception of the three in one is 
neither strange nor peculiar, but is more or less 
an integral part of the concept of Vishnu as the 
Supreme. It is possible to pick out a certain 
number of stanzas from this centum which 



would throw a distinct light upon the Vaishnava 
character of the worship prescribed. 

One more point in regard to Poygai Alvar 
may be worth mentioning here as bearing upon 
this particular question, namely, stanza 53, 
where the close association of the serpent oesha 
or Ananta with Vishnu * is stated with a view, 
according to the Vaishnava commentators, to 
declare to the world the intimate connection 
between Sesha and Vishnu as almost body 
and soul, which is the relation in which the 
Supreme is held in connection with all else. 
The statement here is that the great snake is to 
Vishnu (Tirumal) an umbrella when he walks, a 
throne when he sits, the wooden platform or 
sandal when he stands, the eternal bed when he 
sleeps on the sea. He also serves as the jewel 
lamp, or fine soft silk vestment, and the pillow 
beside him in bed. The notion that the Sesha 
serpent constitutes a soft white silk which forms 
the upper garment of Vishnu, would explain 
the symbolism of the snake that is said to be 
seen in parts of his body of the image of 
Venkatesa at Tirupati. We may have to refer 
to this detail later. 

r LDtTU) 




Passing on now to the second of this group 
of Alvars, Alvar Bhutan as he is called, this 
Ajvar likewise refers to Vengadam in eight 
places or stanzas directly. The first reference 
is in stanza 25 where Vishnu is described as 
standing on the hill at Tirupati, and is referred 
to as the one who marched on Lanka and 
killed, in anger, Havana. Stanza 33 merely 
expresses devotion to Vishnu as he manifests 
himself in Vengadam. In stanza 45 he makes 
a similar general reference, and in stanza 46 
Vengadam figures among a number of places 
such as Srirangam, Tirukkoltiyur, and Tirumr- 
malai. In stanza 48 there is a reference to 


Ipum-Solai, which is interpreted by the commen- 
tators as indicating Tirupati ; but the reference 
seems none the less to Tirumal Irum Solai, which 
is referred to as Ilam-giri, and in stanza 54 as 
Ilam-Ko vil. The reason for the use of the attribute 
is riot quite clear unless it be in reference to the 
inhabitants of the locality who were of the 
hunter class, often referred to as Ilaiyar, or the 
association of the place with young Krishna in 
which sense the name is used for Tirucchanur 
apparently. In stanza 70 the Alvar refers to 
a number of Vishnu shrines : Tanjai (Tanjore), 
Arangam, Ta$-kal, as in the minds of those 
devoted to Him ; as also the cool hill and 
the ocean where they place Him. Mamallai 



(Mahabalipuram), Koval (Tirukkovalur) and 
Kucjandai (Kumbhako^am) are similarly places 
cherished by them. In stanza 72 there is a 
general reference again to Vengadam, where the 
very monkeys offer fully blossomed lotus flowers 
in worship. Stanza 75 contains a similar secular 
reference in which Tirupati is said to be the 
residence of the Grod of the blue colour where the 
male elephant is described as pulling out the 
tender shoot of the bamboo and giving it to its 
mate after carefully dipping it in honey. In 
addition to the usual Vaishnava holy places, this 
Alvar makes reference to a place Padaham in 
Kanchi in stanza 94 ; as also to Altiyur (Vishnu- 
kanchi of iiow-a-days,) in 95, and Kudamukkil 
(Kumbhakonam) in 97. Stanza 28 * equates 
the deity presiding in Vengadam as the same 
as that in rirangam, and both of them alike 
are described as the young one who tore up the 
animal by the mouth, Krishna, and the general 
reference in 46 to a number of Vishnu shrines 
would give the same impression. 7 Stanza 54 is a 
little more specific where it states that Tirumal 
Ifiiin Solai near Madura and Vengadam are the 
two places where the God was pleased to stand 

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and present himself to his devotees. Stanza 
60 of this centum calls for attention where the 
Supreme is regarded as of two forms. One of 
these two however is subordinated to the 
other, which is the first, much as Poygai and 
Nammalvar make Siva arid Brahma as forming 
part of Vishnu's body. This stanza is however 
interpreted in a more general way by commen- 
tators. So it comes out clearly that Bhutat 
Alvar, no less than Poygai Alvar, was devoted 
to Tirupati as a Vishnu shrine to which he was 
extremely devoted, notwithstanding the features 
which may seem Saiva at first sight. There 
are stanzas in this centum which could be picked 
out detailing the ordinary norms of worship 
of all the Vaishnavas. One feature in particular 
has to be noted in respect of this Alvar, which 
is also a common feature in the others, that 
the best form of worship is the orthodox Vaidic 
way ; but it is recognised simultaneously that 
it is not actually possible for all. It certainly 
is the best for those that can do it; but, for 
those who cannot, other forms of worship are 
prescribed equally efficient in saving power ; 
and, among these, the most efficient is the mere 
recital of the name of Madhava as equally 
capable of saving. As a typical instance we 
might give the substance of stanzas 38 and 39. 
In the first he admonishes people against 



deluding themselves in the possession of the 
wealth that they may have, but exhorts them to 
devote themselves to that which is the mainstay 
for one's permanent good. The recital of His 
name, with a mind devoted to Madhava, is our 
eternal saviour. It is stated in the next stanza 
that even the significance of the Veda is this 
alone, and therefore " Poor mortals, learn how 
to offer your devotion to God by reciting His 
name in the proper form. If you are learned 
in the Veda, well and good. If you are not, 
keep repeating His name with devotion ; for the 
recital of His name is the abbreviation of the 
reciting of the Vedas themselves. " * We can 
quote stanzas of this import from Poygai Alvar 
and the others as well. 

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or it IT tifyzsruSebr seaar^fr jd@uQuireSis0 
$Ggiu> Jjj&iuirp 

. (40) 



This idea of a single-minded devotion shown 
in the form of a simple prayer addressed to 
him by the mere repetition of his name, is 
enforced in several other stanzas. Stanza 64 
expresses the hope that it might be given to 
the Alvar to realise Him who is described in 
the Itihasas (Katha) and the Vedas, the very 
names incorporating what is said of Him in 
these. He begins with 62 where he professes 
that he did not know His name before, nor has 
he had the chance since of acquiring it in 
proper form ; but that he bowed down in 
worship with the recitation of His names as 
they came to him, though different in form. 
In 6B he speaks of his bowing in reverence at 
sight of His form, his offering lotus flowers 
at His feet with his own hands, and he came 
down to the conviction to devote himself to His 
service, so that when the opportunity came he 
could attain to the nearness where he can for 
ever remain iu perpetual prayer. In 66 he 
declares his faith that all this life is nothing 
more than the repetition of the name of Narana 
(Sans. Narayana), and by so doing, remove 
the causes that take one near to hell. In 67 he 
comes to a confession which is reinforced in 
stanza 81, He speaks of his having seen the 
form of God in a dream. Even in that dream 
he saw in His hand the golden disc. He was 



able to realise the strength of Him even then, 
which puts an end to the good and bad in 
him and prevents other such befalling him 
hereafter. In 81 he speaks of his having 
seen Him by day, and that none other than 
Narayana. He dreamt of Him again the more. 
Then he realised Him in truth, and arrived at 
the settled conviction of the form of Him of 
the golden disc, His light-emitting feet, and 
His form, the very emanation of heavenly light. 
Then in 86 he asks what it was that great poets 
who offer worship, with fresh flowers along 
with their verses, gained ; that which they 
were not able to realise by their true penance, 
" how am I going to realise ; by what form of 
penance am I to realise it now ? It is not by 
my penance now, that I am going to realise 
His great feet which measured the great earth 
itself. I realise, in all His greatness, Him, my 
father of Tirukkottiyur, because I worshipped 
Him when I was still suffering in the womb 
from which I was brought into existence ". 
Then he comes to his satisfaction in 90 when 
he declares roundly what it was that he could 
do. " Shall I not hold rule over this earth ; 
will I not mount up to heaven by becoming 
the great one among the great in heaven itself ; 
once I have approached and offered my sincere 
worship to Him, Lord Vishnu ". It would be 



easy in this connection to select about a dozeti 
verses from this collection which would put in a 
nutshell the teachings of the Bhakti school of 
Vaishnavism in all its orthodox aspects, withal 
simple, and designed, not for serving the purpose 
of worship by the elite, but to subserve similar 
ends for the quite ordinary folk. 

PEY ALVAR. We come to the last of the triad, 
Pey Alvar, of whom we know nothing in regard 
to the details of his life except that he was born 
in a well next adjoining the shrine of Kesava 
Perumal, which well is now pointed out as the 
one in Arundal Street, Mylapore. We know 
nothing of his birth or his parents, and the date 
that is given for him in the Gruru Paramparas 
is of the same kind as the dates for the other 
two. While the other two who each of them 
lighted the lamp of divine knowledge in his own 
way with a view to the realisation of God, this 
Alvar on the contrary, breaks out " Lo, I see 
ori. I see His golden form. I see the glorious 
effulgence of the rising sun. I see the golden 
disc exuberant for war. I see the conch of the 
dextral curl. All these I see in my dear One of 
the blue colour of the sea. " And immediately 
follows the confession that, having seen His feet, 
he destroyed all the seven of his births then and 
there, and then he proceeds to describe all that 



he knows of Vishnu and his saving qualities. 
In stanza 11 he declares roundly " He is there in 
the four Vedas well cultivated, He of the colour 
of the flowing water fresh and fragrant. He is 
in the ocean of milk,, on the bed of the great 
serpent, the wise one who is churned out of the 
sea of sciences (Tarn. Nul ; Sans. Tantra) by 
the learned ones, and comprehensible only to 
those of the most acute intelligence ; shutting 
out the passions by the bolt of wisdom, and 
cultivating the secret wisdom of the Vedas, the 
wise ones will realise easily the nature of Him 
who is of the colour of the sea. " The first 
reference to Vengadam occurs in stanza 14 
where He is said to be " the One in Vengadam 
whom the heavenly ones worship with their high 
crowned heads, and Who is said to preside in the 
Veda of the four divisions. " In stanza 16 there 
is a reference to Triplicane (Tiruvallikkeiji) and 
the God is described as one bearing the lotus 
born (Lakshmi) in his chest. In stanza 26 he 
declares that the God is either resident in his 
own heart, on the body of the red-eyed serpent, 
in the full and prosperous Kacchi (Kanchi) ; in 
Vengadam, Vehka and Velukkaippadi (a part 
of Kanchi) which he never quits. A similar 
sentiment is expressed in stanza 30 where the 
place that Vishnu liked to reside in is the 
ocean, Ku^andai (KumbhakoQam), Vengadam, 



the properly intuned mind, the vast expanse of 
heaven, then Padaham, full of people learned in 
the Veda, Ananta-^esha, the great esha-serpent 
and the garland of sweet basil. Stanza 31 
similarly speaks of "these are the temples of 
Him who tore up the heart of Hiranya by the 
assumed form of a lion, or a serpent with unseen 
ears, the four Vedas and the ocean of milk. But 
the statement is here thrown in that the great 
Siva carrying the Ganga on his head of the 
bull vehicle, forms a part of his body. In 32 
comes a similar recital of his abode as the ocean 
of milk, Vengadam, oesha-serpent, the heaven, 
the ocean of sciences, the lotus figure prescribed 
by the Agama Sastras (Nun-nfll), the mind of 
those devoted to Him. " That One is no other 
than the shepherd boy who broke the twin 
Kurunda tree. " * Vengadam is here described 

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as the place sacred to Gropalaka. In stanzas 
39 and 40, Vengadam is referred to as the holy 
place of Vishnu, and the latter gives the detail 
that He measured the earth by bringing it all 
under His one foot. Stanza 45 gives the important 
detail that Vengadam was full of elephants and 
was " the hill of Him who carried the earth at 
the point of his tusk. " Stanzas 45 to 57 seem to 
be a continuation of the sentiment actually 
expressed in the latter part of the stanza 45, and 
refer to the various achievements of Vishnu 
in his manifestations as Rama, Krishna, etc., 
following up, as it were, the reference to Varaha 
Avatara in the last line of stanza 45. He takes 
up the reference to Vengadam in 58 again, and 
comes up in the last line to the same references 
that the God in Vengadam is, " He who recovered 
the earth by the use of his acute intelligence ", 
referring to his having outwitted Mahabali and 
got him to grant the three feet of earth. In 
stanza 59, the Alvar gives expression to his 
satisfaction that he had attained to the correct 
gaining salvation, since he attaches 
^devotion to Vishnu. In the next 
three sfafj&afl^Jie makes reference to various of 
: pl^f^l^e^ivities of Vishnu, and the places 

his habitual residence. 


* Among these figure Vengadam, the ocean 
of milk, and Vaikuntham as his ancient 
residence. These are described to be the seat 
of the youth (Ilam-Kumaran). In the following 
stanza similarly are mentioned a number of 
places, Vinnagaram, Vehka, Vengadam, Veluk- 
kaippadi, Kudaiidai (Kumbhakonam), Tiru- 
Arangam (Sriraugam), Kotti (Tirukkottiyur). 
The last line specifies that these are places 
where " the One who received in the half-closed 
palm of His hand the water in token of gift ", 
referring obviously to His accepting the grant 
of three feet of earth from the emperor Bali, 
given to Him with pouring of water. Stanza 63 
is important as it says clearly that " To Him, 
my father who is 011 the hill (Tirumalai), both 
the forms have combined into one (the forms 

ar <sSesarcBB&ir. 




of iva and Vishnu) ". The previous lines 
mention that, in His form, appear the flowing 
matted locks of hair and the high peaked crown, 
the shining dagger and the golden disc, the 
snake around the hip and the zone of gold alike. 
The next stanza makes a reference merely 
to Vishmi in the lying posture at Veljka 
in Kanchi. The next three stanzas refer to 
incidents generally ascribed to Vishnu ; but the 
following stanza must be noted, as, in the last 
two lines, it states clearly that the " hill of 
Vengadam is the hill of Him who whilom threw 
the calf at the wood-apple tree for bringing the 
fruits down ", thus putting it beyond a doubt 
that he regarded the hill as belonging to Vish^u- 
Krishna. The next five stanzas each one makes 
a reference to Vengadatn ; while 69 and 70 
only refer to some general features, 71 repeats 
the statement almost in the same terms to the 
incidents referred to in stanza 68. In 72 there 
is the specific statement that Vengadam is the 
residence of " the prince among the youth " 
(Ilam-Kumarar-Koman). Stanza 73 has a 
reference to Vengadam but in general terms ; 
75 has similarly a general reference to Tiru- 
malai as the hill of Vishnu-Krishna (5yan, 
shepherd). Stanza 76 states definitely that, if 
one should offer flowers and fold his hands 
in worship before the God at Ve^ka, no 



consequences of evil deeds would come to him, 
and that one need not stand amidst hills, or dip 
into water, or otherwise perform penance by 
standing amidst the five fires. Stanzas 77 to 88 
recommend single-minded devotion to Vishnu 
as the sole efficient way of getting rid of evil 
and attaining to salvation. 89 refers to Vengadam 
and states clearly " it is the hill of the One who 
applied his lips to the flute emitting sweet 
music " (meaning young Krishna). * Stanzas 
90 to 93 are general as usual, and 94 states 
that the Alvar succeeded in recapturing Him, 
who stands, sits or lies down (in various holy 
places) and in his own heart by the process of 
lighting the lamp of contemplation. Stanza 97 
makes Vishnu impossible even for contemplation 
by Brahma and oiva. Stanzas 99 to 100 are 
again confessions of faith ; but in 99 there is 
a reference to the eight weapons of Vishnu 
wielded in eight hands, placing him specifically 
in Attapuyakaram (Sans. Ashta Bhuja Karam), 
a suburb of Kanchi. This brings us to the 
end of the third centum which is the work of 
Pey Alvar. 

QJ/TIL/ CBcu^^nrcor fleuiiL/. (89) 




three Alvars are together called the first Alvars 
because they were considered to have been 
contemporary, and the earliest among those 
known in Vaishnava parlance as Alvars. We 
shall see later that the next following one was 
probably also their contemporary and the four 
together will have to be assigned to the same 
age. The three centum s which constitute the 
work of these three have such close similarity of 
features that it may be held on this ground alone 
that they were contemporaries, and probably 
flourished at the same time and in the same 
religious atmosphere. Each one of those may 
be regarded more or less in three parts for our 
purposes. The first is general. In almost every 
stanza of the hundred there is a reference, direct 
or indirect to Vishnu ; some one or other of his 
beneficent manifestations is alluded to and it is 
made to serve to enforce the same conclusion, 
namely that Vishnu is the Supreme Saviour of 
all, and there is no saviour other than He. It is 
sometimes recognised that benefits falling short 
of the eternal could be obtained of others, but it 
is carefully pointed out that ultimately these 
others are no more than other beings of the 
creation, and constitute as much and as really 
the body of the Supreme which is immanent 
in all; that Supreme is, according to these, no 



other than Vishnu. Among the allusions which 
are scattered about through their works, the 
most striking ones are those relating to Krishna* 
while there are incidents relating to the other 
Avataras of Vishnu which also find frequent 
reference. There is a certain amount of 
commonness in the references even to these 
particular incidents among the three, which 
would make them products of the same religious 
surroundings more or less. Being entirely 
devotees of Vishnu they refer naturally to 
Vaishnava holy places which are traditionally 
counted 108 in number, but it cannot be said 
that all the 108 are referred to in the writings 
of these. These refer to a certain number, each 
one particularly, and among them Tirupati 
figures perhaps more frequently than any other 
single place not even orlrangam excepted. Hence 
it is that these 5lvars are regarded as having 
devoted their poems exclusively to Vengadam 
by the commentators. 

to the norms of worship, these Alvars recognise 
the efficacy of vaidlc ceremonies, and regard 
worship according to Vedic ritual as of the 
highest importance and efficacy. They recognise 
at the same time that it is a kind of worship which 
is possible only for the elite, and requires 



learning of a high order, and a training and 
discipline which is beyond the competence of 
ordinary folk. In fact they recognise frankly 
that this course of religions service is possible 
only for the very elect, even among the 
Brahmans. They are at pains therefore, not 
exactly perhaps to devise, but to emphasise the 
other norms capable of being more easily 
practised, being more simple in the performance. 
What is essential is the sincerity of the worship 
offered, not exactly the elaborateness of the 
ritual, so that it will be found that in places they 
do make broad references to these elaborate 
rituals and say plainly that they certainly are 
very good for those who can go through that 
course of worship of God who, to them, is Vishnu 
and no other. But then it is not possible for all. 
They therefore prescribe other courses generally 
accepted as of efficacy at the time, and these, 
it will be found, are almost the same as the 
course of worship prescribed in the chapters on 
BhaktiySga of the Bhagavatgita and in the 
Pancharatra. In these again they recognise the 
value of knowledge (gnana} and regard gnanayoga 
as of high efficacy. But falling short of that, 
comes the offer of worship with flowers and 
incense, and prayers of various kinds. That 
means worship offered in private houses of 
individuals and in shrines intended for the 



worship of the particular worshipping community. 
But where even this is found too elaborate for 
adoption, as it might well be for those who 
may not have the means, material as well as 
intellectual, they go one simpler, and merely 
prescribe repetition of the name of the saving 
Grod. The most popular of several of these 
saving names is what is generally described in 
Vaishnava parlance the ashtakshara, the name of 
eight letters, namely Narayana with the praaava 
before and the affix following. This simple form 
of worship it will be seen is capable of perfor- 
mance by all whatever their condition in life, 
and, by each one, by himself or herself alone, 
without the aid of a priest or anybody else. 
This transformation of the highly ritualistic 
religion described as Brahmanism is what 
transformed Brahmanism into Hinduism, and is 
the actual work of a school -of thought which 
may for convenience be described as the bhakti 
school. It may be that we are able to trace 
back the history of the bhakti cult at least to 
the Upanishads very plainly, if not to the Veda 
itself. But that is not our concern for the 
present. That the school of bhakti it is that 
was responsible for the simplification of worship 
which transformed Brahmanism into Hinduism 
is a matter that ought to be borne in mind 
in studying the history of the holy shrine at 


atsvour OF TIEUPATI 

Tirupati, The work of these early 5lvars shows 
this transformation as having been completely 
effected, and is in full swing of active practice. 
There is also a hint here and there in the work 
even of these 5lvars that the ideas of popular 
worship current at the time had perhaps other 
leanings, namely, towards the two rival religions 
of Buddhism and Jainism, in both of which 
the fundamental principle of religious worship 
is something essentially different. It is not real 
worship or service that brought about salvation. 
It is much rather knowledge of a particular kind 
which illumined the nature of life and the right 
conduct in life activity, without reference to a 
personal Grod and the attainment of salvation by 
worship and service to Him. In the first centum 
Poygai 5.1var states " who will hereafter enter 
the gates of hell (Naraka) ? Bolt its door with- 
out any compunction, because this land 
surrounded by the Jambu tree has now learned 
very well that the feet of Him who threw the 
calf to bring down the fruit of the wood-apple 
is the sole saviour ". This seems intended 
to indicate the successful vogue this new 
teaching had attained to. That may give us an 
idea also of the actual age of its popularity, 
and the circumstances under which this 
movement attained to the popularity that it 
actually did. 


AT TIRUPATI. It was pointed out above that 
these are essentially Vaishnavas. But they 
actually describe Vishnu in a number of places 
as being compounded of the features of oiva 
and Vishnu. They go the whole length of 
describing circumstantially the various weapons 
which form the characteristic features of these 
deities as being seen in one and the same image 
at certain places, among them primarily Tiru- 
pati. On the face of it one is likely to get the 
impression that the image so described ought 
at least to be regarded as the image of God in 
the twin Hari-Hara form. We shall not now 
go into the controversy as to the nature of the 
image at Tirupati. We shall return to that 
later. But from the description by these Alvars 
one is likely to get the general impression that 
the image described is the image of Harihara. 
It is important to note it here, as that is not 
merely a feature of the description of Vishnu by 
these Alvars, but other Alvars also indulge in 
this, particularly Nammalvar, so that it is to 
be regarded more or less as a feature of the 
times to describe the supreme deity Vishnu 
in these terms. While therefore a number of 
stanzas could be selected from the writings of 
these three Alvars which imply Siva alone in 
some, Siva and Brahma in others, forming part 



of the body of the deity, it is clear that in so 
describing they had no more idea than to 
point out what is plainly pointed out in one 
of the poems of Nammalvar that these deities 
were as much his creatures and constituted 
his body as other created beings, and that their 
appeal lay to the Supreme One who is above 
these. Stanza 98 of the first centum says in so 
many words that while the holy One of the 
colour of molten gold and of the matted locks, 
and the One who stood with one foot on earth 
and measured out the universe by the other, 
though these two live and move about in two 
different bodies, the one (the first one) is in the 
body of the other. That sentiment is expressed 
somewhat differently in stanza 28 of the same 
5lvar. " You carry in Your hand the dextral 
conch and the disc, O, My Lord of the blue colour. 
On Your chest is the daughter of the flower 
(lotus). The young author of the Veda is in 
Your naval, and the lordly One who destroyed 
the three fortresses is on one side of Your body". 
Stanzas of the same import could be quoted 
from the other two authors as well. So then 
the description which apparently conveys the 
impression that the image of Vishnu is part 
&iva and part Vishnu is not to be interpreted 
as involving the conception of the form of 
God being that of Harihara, and should be 


interpreted as that of Hari himself normally 
and necessarily carrying the other deities as 
his body. 


ACCORDING TO THESE. Coming down to the 
specific references to Vengadam in these 5lvars 
and their description of the deity there, we find 
that, while no doubt in a few places, about 
half a dozen all told, the description may be 
regarded as of iva-Vishmi combination in 
form, yet on closer examination, it will be found 
that they do not leave it in any doubt that the 
deity that they offer worship to in Vengadam 
is Vishnu and none other ; and such des- 
cription as give the indication of biva forming 
a part of Vishnu is nothing peculiar to Siva 
alone, as Brahma, Lakshmi and the very 
weapons characteristic of Vishnu are in terms 
so described as part of Vishnu's body, almost 
in the same terms as Siva. There are about 
35 references to Vengadam in these 300 stanzas 
which have been referred to in detail in the 
pages immediately preceding. Some of these 
references are either very general, or make a 
poetical reference to some feature or other of 
Tirupati. But there are some which give one 
unmistakably to understand that the God 
worshipped in the shrine there is distinctly 
Vishnu and no other. Stanzas 33 to 40 of 



Poygai JLlvar make reference to Tirupati in 
each case definitely. In the first it is said that 
Vengadam to which the le arned in the Veda 
come and offer wors hip from all points of the 
compass, is the shrine of Him who blew the 
white conch ; without a doubt Vishnu. The 
next one speaks of Vengadam as the town of 
Mai at the mention of whose name the Asuras 
felt frightened. In 39, Vengadam is described 
as a place where the God is said to be in a 
standing posture, the God who lies on the sea, 
who killed Kamsa, who held aloft the hill and 
who dug up the earth, all attributes which 
cannot be interpreted as belonging to any other 
than Vishnu. In 40, Vengadam is said to be 
the hill of Him who was delighted with the fall 
of the king of the Asuras. In stanza 68 the 
God in Vengadam is addressed as one who 
is in the sky, who is on the earth, who is 
in the verses of the Veda along with being 
in Vengadam, again referring specifically to 
Vishnu alone by these attributes. Stanza 76 
is even more specific. It mentions Tiruvenga^am 
as the place of the one who measured the 
earth. In 77, Vengadam, Vin^agar, Vehka and 
Tirukkovalur are mentioned as places where 
the God stood, sat, lay or walked, necessarily 
meaning that the four manifestations are one 
and the same. In 82 there is a more definite 



reference to the festival on the 12th day of 
the fortnight (DvadaSi), when, on account of the 
large quantity of smoke from the burning of the 
incense by ladies, the very sky itself got so 
clouded that the stars became invisible. While 
the mention of this festival may be interesting 
in itself for the history of Tirupati, it does not 
make it in terms, quite clear that the deity is 
Vishnu. The mention of Dvadasi makes it 
certain as that day is peculiarly holy to Vishnu 
according to the Agamas. Stanza 99, the last 
of the first centum speaks of the deity in 
Vengadam as the one who is in the floods, 
undoubtedly referring to Vishnu. 

Stanza 25 of the second centum refers to the 
deity in Vengadam as one who marched upon 
Lanka and killed Havana. Stanza 33 contains a 
general reference. The reference in 45 may 
also perhaps be regarded as quite general. But 
46 is definite, inasmuch as the deity in Vengadam 
is said to be the deity in Srirangam, in 
Tirukkottiyur, and in Tirumrmalai. The reference 
in 48 is indirect inasmuch as it says the hill 
surrounded by deep dense groves, which the 
commentators interpret as Tirupati; but the 
actual terms of reference would indicate 
Tirumalirumsolai near Madura. The deity is of 
course specifically referred to by clear allusions 



as being Vishnu. In stanzas 53 and 54 we come 
upon references to Vengadam. In the first it is 
referred to as Ilam-giri, and is equated with 
Vengadam in the 4th line. In the next stanza 
the Alvar refers to Tirumalirumsolai and 
Vengadam as the two places where the God was 
pleased to stand, naturally therefore meaning 
that the deity in the two places ought to be 
regarded as the same, and ends the verse with 
the exhortation u Do not therefore give up Ilam- 
koil (temple of the youth). " This Ilam-giri and 
Ilam-koil were taken to refer to Subrahmanya, 
who undoubtedly is referred to as a youth ; 
and, if we could take these terms out of their 
context and interpret them independently, it 
may be capable of that interpretation. But in the 
context that interpretation could hardly be held 
to be admissible. Stanza 72 contains a nrere 
general reference to Vengadam, and so stanza 75. 

Coming to the third centum we note that 
there are a far larger number of references to 
the shrine, and this Alvar gives more specific 
details which would put this question as to the 
nature of the deity in Tirupati altogether beyond 
all doubt. Stanza 14 makes the first reference 
and starts with the attraction of the feet of 
Vishnu to his mind, and refers to the God in 
Vengadam as the one in the Veda of the four 



flections, whose feet are marked by the crowns 
of the Gods themselves. The next reference in 
stanza 26 where Vengadam is mentioned amidst 
a number of other places including his own heart, 
where God is resident, in all other cases Vishnu, 
and therefore also in Venga<Jam. So in stanza 
30 where Vengadam figures along with the sea, 
the sky, Kudandai, Padaham, Ananta, the great 
serpent, and the garland of basil. Similarly in 
stanza 32 some of these very places happen to be 
mentioned, and in addition the ocean of sciences 
(Nul-Kadal), and the lotus of very fine thread, 
and the hearts of those devoted to him, as if to 
clear the doubt definitely that the person so 
present in these places including Vengadam, is 
said to be the young shepherd boy who broke 
the twin Kurunda tree (the young shepherd boy, 
Balakrishna). In stanzas 39 and 40 Vengadam 
is referred to, and the deity there is described to 
be the one who measured the earth. In stanza 
45 similarly Vengadam is said to be the place of 
Him who, on one occasion previously, carried 
the earth on his tusk. The same idea is 
expressed in stanza 58, but here the God is 
referred to as one who acquired the earth by 
desiring to get it from Bali. In stanzas 61 and 62, 
the heavenly city of Ilam-Kumaran surrounded 
by flower gardens is said to be his residence, 
Vengadam, and the ocean of milk, etc. So in 



stanza 62 a number of holy places of the 
Vaishnavas is mentioned, some of them in 
heaven, and some on earth, among them 
Vengadain ; but they are said to be places sacred 
to Him who received the water in the out- 
stretched hand, referring to the Vamanavatara 
of Vishnu. Stanzas 68, 69, 70, 72 and 73, all 
make references to Vengadam. In the first it is 
said to be the place of the one who threw the 
calf to bring down the wood-apple. The 
reference in 69 is quite general, as also in the 
following stanza 70. 71 makes a similar 
reference to the throwing of the calf. 72 speaks 
of Vengadam as a place of residence of the 
prince among the youth (Ilani-Kumarar-Koman). 
In stanza 73 Vada mukha Vengadam (northern 
Vengadam) is the place of the one who danced 
with the water-pot (one of the frolics characteris- 
tic of young Krishna). In 75 Tirumalai 
(Tiruvengadam) is said to be the hill of the 
shepherd (Ayan). 89 clinches the whole matter 
where Vengadam is described in general terms as 
remarkable for its tall bushes of bamboo reaching 
up to the skies as the place of the one who 
whilom applied his lips to the flute emitting 
sweet music. 


OF WORSHIP. This elaborate series of references 
to Vengadam in all the 300 stanzas of these 



Alvars establishes beyond a doubt that Vengadam 
was a place of great importance as a Vaishnava 
centre of worship. The Alvars knew the place 
sufficiently familiarly even to be acquainted with 
some of the small details of worship there. That 
while some stray verses may perhaps be inter- 
preted as referring to oiva rather than Vishnu, 
even these specific references ought properly 
speaking to be explained with reference to the 
context, as referring to Vishnu. But what is 
really more important, the proper interpretation 
of these verses that could thus be picked out 
ought certainly to be in their proper context, 
and no particular verse, or even particular 
stanza, could be understood in full significance 
unless each is taken in full association with the 
whole work. Thus interpreted, it is clear 
beyond a doubt that, to these Alvars, Tirupati 
was pre-eminently the shrine of Vishmi, and they 
tendered their worship at that shrine as an 
important shrine of Vishnu and none other than 




This position of the Alvars finds unlooked for 
confirmation which puts it altogether beyond 
any doubt. The Tamil classic ilappadhikaram, 
the author of which is not a Brahmanical Hindu, 
whether he be a Jain or Buddhist, was still 
enough of an Indian man of learning to make 
impartially respectful statements in regard to 
faiths even other than his own ; nay, even those 
to which he may by conviction be expected 
to be opposed. References in his work to 
Tirupati as a Vishnu shrine puts the whole 
position beyond any doubt, all cavilling to the 
contrary by modern scholars notwithstanding. 
These seem after all to follow in the footsteps 
of their predecessors of old who set up a 
similar claim during the period of influence of 
Ramanuja's mission. We shall revert to this 
subject later and will have to deal with it rather 
elaborately. Suffice it here to say that Ilango- 
Adigal, the author of the Silappadhikaram 
has no doubt whatever that the deity which 
stands on the hill of Tirupati is no other than 
Vishnu. He describes Venkatesa on the hill 


in the following terms in Book XI, lines 
41 to 51 *: 

High on Vengadam's towering crest, with 
flowing streams in flood, 

Betwixt the effulgent glory, of shining Sun 
and Moon, 

Like unto a blue cloud in lightning dresst 
In all the brilliance of rainbow dight, 
The Red-eyed great One, majestic stands 

In dress of flowery brilliance with garland 

One lotus hand with fearsome disc adorned, 
and milk white conch (the other held.) 

The passage occurs in a context which 
leaves little doubt as to the knowledge of the 
author of what he thus describes. This 
description is piit into the mouth of a Brahman 
pilgrim, a native-resident of the village of 


QLDS tSeargi Qunsvu 

Q&twsQcBjru^GiuiT erf) carp e 



Mangadu in Malainadu (Malayalam or Malabar). 
Prompted by a feeling to pay worship at the 
great Vishnu shrines of Srlrangam and Tirupati, 
he was on his journey coming across the Pan^ya 
country, and staying for the night in the outer 
groves of the Chola capital at the time, Uyaiyur. 
To that self-same grove also went the hero of 
the epic, Kovalan with his wife, and the Jain 
ascetic Kaundi A^igal, whom he picked up near 
Mayavaram on his way from Kaverippum- 
pattinam. He was going forward to Madura 
to set up as a merchant there, and recover his 
lost fortune, which he squandered away in a life 
of youthful dalliance with the bewitchingly 
beautiful courtesan Madhavi in the Choja 
capital, his own native city, all the accumulated 
wealth which was given to him by his father, 
who was a great merchant (Ma-Sattu-vaxjiigan ; 
Sans : Maha-Sartha Vaha) of the place, for 
setting him up in life. Disgusted with this 
mismanagement, and, feeling guilty of having 
neglected his own good wife who would not stay 
behind when he wanted to launch out into the 
world as a merchant to gain back his wealth, he 
travelled on to Madura and came as far as 
Uraiyfir in his journey without incident. There 
were more than one route between UyaiySr and 
Madura, and these roads were in those days, no 
less in these, by no means particularly safe for 



pilgrims travelling by the ordinary roadway. 
When he was naturally looking out for some 
one who could enlighten him as to the particular 
road to take, he heard a Brahman who was 
resting for the night, not far from him, get up 
early in the morning and launch out into a 
eulogy of the Pandyan ruler for the time being 
across whose territory he travelled before 
reaching Uf aiyur, and came to the end of the first 
stage of his journey and into the outskirts of the 
actual Chola capital of the time. Naturally, in 
gratitude for the safe journey that he had 
through a danger-infested road between Madura 
and Trichinopoly, due to the efficient adminis- 
tration of the Pandya ruler, he felt called 
upon to sing his praise. To Kovalan's enquiry 
as to who he was and why he was belauding the 
ruling Pandya in those strains, the Brahman 
answered that he had just passed throiigh the 
Pandyan territory unscathed ; a pilgrim that he 
was, to visit the famous Vishnu shrines, at 
Srirangam and Vengadam, he was able to travel 
in perfect safety. Since he found the most 
dangeroiis roiites in that part of his journey^ 
he thought that it was due to the ruler of the 
locality and that his praise should be loudly 
sung. Kovalan naturally took advantage of the 
occasion to ask him what he wanted, and, at the 
end of his enquiries, determined upon the. road 



that he should take for his journey to Madura. 
This, however, is not of interest for the moment. 
The terms in which the Vishnu shrine both at 
rirangam and Timpati, and the one at Tirumal 
lyumsolai, are referred to, give clear evidence 
that the shrine at Tirupati had the reputation 
of being a Vishnu shrine and nothing else, and 
that reputation had reached so far out as the 
West Coast and people there were in the habit 
of going on a pilgrimage to Tirupati as they do 
now as one of the holy Vaishnava centres. A 
statement like that from an author who was not 
himself a Vaishnava, and who makes the state- 
ment no doubt in poetry, and in the course of a 
romantic epic, does not invalidate the general 
position that the temple at Tirupati was by 
common repute a temple dedicated to Vishnu. 
This confirms the conclusion to which we have 
arrived by a detailed study of the three centa 
of the early Alvars, Poygai, Bhutam and Pey, 
from which efforts have been made, from time 
to time, to draw the contrary inference by some 
who took occasion to refer to this topic in the 
course of their investigations. We shall next 
proceed to examine what another early Alvar, 
ilvar Tirumalisai (Bhaktisara, as he is called 
in Sanskrit) who, for very good reasons, could 
be regarded as contemporary with these early 
ijvars has to say of Tirupati. 





Tirumalisai is said to have been a foundling 
child taken up and brought up as his own by 
a cane-worker by profession, and as such belong- 
ing to a class in the Hindu social order below 
the recognised four. The tradition recorded 
however is that he was actually the son of Rishi 
Bhargava and his wife, born as a result of a 
great sacrifice (Yaga) that they performed, and, 
having been born too early and in an unformed 
condition, the foetus was left in a cane bush and 
discovered by the cane-cutter. Possibly this was 
invented to give him a higher birth. We can 
say this, with some little assurance as he himself 
states in the course of one of his works, that 
he had not the good fortune to be born in one 
of the four recognised castes (kulam) of Hindu 
society. Whatever it is, the truth seems to be 
that he was a person of unknown birth like 
the other three JLlvars, possibly belonging to 
one of the classes outside the recognised four. 
But somehow he had gained intuition, perhaps 
from birth, to know the truth better, and, like 
the three others that we have already spoken of, 
lived not merely to discover, but even to expound 



the truth to the world. The same tradition 
associates his name with the village Tirumalisai 
near Poonamallee, a few miles to the west 
of Madras from which he takes his name, 
Tirumalisai Alvar. Of course, what is known 
of him is, as tradition records it, miraculous and 
superhuman, possibly because of ignorance of 
his life, or, it may be, that he exhibited some 
extraordinary features as a man. We get from 
his works however, a few details of a biographical 
character, such as the one mentioned above in 
respect of his caste, which give us perhaps all 
the historical information regarding him that 
we can really depend upon. Leaving aside 
therefore the legendary, we might take it that he 
was apparently one very greatly devoted to 
Vishnu, and had attained to that extraordinary 
devotion, not altogether by mere instinct alone, 
but really by an elaborate study and search 
which ultimately led him to reject all contempo- 
rary persuasions and pin his faith to Vishnu 
as the sole saviour. He says, in the course 
of one of his works *, that the " ^ramanas are 
ignorant men, while the Bauddhas are under 
a delusion; while those that have fallen into 

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NSnmukhan Ttruvandftdi, 6. 


devotion to Siva are of comparatively inferior 
intellect. Those who will not worship the fragrant 
feet of Vishnu are indeed inferior people. " This 
is put in another form in the traditional account 
in a fugitive verse, where the Alvar himself 
is made to say " We learnt the Sankhya, 
we learnt the teaching of the Jina ; we learnt 
the Agamas taught by Sankara ; but as good 
luck would have it, we have resolved to devote 
ourselves to Vishnu of the dark colour and 
the red eye, and thus put ourselves beyond 
harm's reach. There is nothing therefore that 
is impossible for us * ". That apart, he is said 
to have spent a considerable part of his time 
in the village of his birth where he met the 
first three Alvars on their usual round of 
pilgrimage. Coming near to this place, they 
are said to have discovered a column of light 
and approaching to where it emanated from, 
they enquired, almost by intuition, whether the 
holy one in contemplation was well, without 
seeing him. He is said to have replied in turn, 
similarly without seeing the others, whether the 
three, mentioning them by name, were keeping 
well and going round their pious work of life 



quite happily. When this casual meeting struck 
up a friendship between them, it lasted on to 
the end of their time. Some time after they 
left, this Alvar himself left on a pilgrimage and 
went to Vehka in Kanchi, the birthplace of 
Poygai Alvar and there he remained for a 
long time devoting himself to the Grod of the 
locality and residing on the banks of the holy 
tank in which was born the Alvar of that 
name, the first of the Alvars. Here he came 
into contact with a Sudra by name Kanikannan, 
who is said, in the traditional account, to have 
been born of parents who fed the Alvar with 
milk when he was still a baby. He was in 
the service of a Pallava King of Kanchi, but 
was offering devoted service to the JLlvar 
nevertheless. A woman servant of the palace, 
old and poor, used to be rendering some menial 
service to this Alvar, such as cleaning up his 
place of residence, etc., and, in response to her 
request, the Alvar blessed her with perpetual 
youth and beauty. She became thenceforward 
an object of attraction to the monarch. In 
answer to his enquiry as to how she obtained 
that unfading beauty, she replied that she was 
indebted to it to the grace of the Alvar, and 
offered the information that through his servant, 
Kanikannan who was a favourite of the Alvar, he 
could get at him if he so desired. The Pallava 



King, as became his position, asked Kanikannan 
to bring the Alvar to his court, and got the 
surprisingly decisive reply that the Alvar would 
not vouchsafe to go down to see him, and he could 
not take the responsibility of persuading him to 
do so. In a fit of anger, the monarch ordered 
Kanikannan out of his territory if he would not 
do the behests of his sovereign. Naturally 
Kanikannan went and told the Alvar that he had 
to leave the place under orders, and the Alvar 
determined forthwith to follow his friend ; not 
only that, but he told the God to follow him, and 
they all left. This strange phenomenon brought 
the Pallava King to a humbler frame of mind, 
and, as a result of his earnest entreaty, the 
whole party returned after remaining one night 
at a particular place some distance away, which 
thereafter got the name the " place of one night's 
stay ". Thenceforward the King treated the 
Alvar with the greatest respect, and the place 
where he lived, and the deity there, became 
cherished objects of worship for the monarch. 
After remaining there for a considerably long 
time, the Alvar went on a tour of pilgrimage to 
the south passing through Chidambaram on his 
way to Kumbhakonam. In Chidambaram there 
occurred an incident of some importance As he 
was going through a Brahman quarter of the 
place on a particular morning, the Brahmans 



who were engaged in reciting the Veda in the 
course of celebrating a sacrifice, stopped the 
chant and fell into silence, as soon as he entered 
the hall of sacrifice in the belief that he was 
of a caste within whose hearing the Veda should 
not be chanted. Unfortunately however, when 
they had come to know that he was a great 
devotee of Vishnu, they wanted to resume their 
Vedic chant, but forgot where exactly they 
left. The lvar understood their difficulty ; but 
without giving the passage by word of mouth, 
which one of his birth should not do, showed by 
sign, by splitting with his finger-nail the husk 
on a grain of paddy, the particular passage last 
recited. The Brahmans were able to resume 
their chanting and proceed. Some time later 
some of the people in the assembly did not 
show themselves to be quite inclined to accept 
him for the great devotee of Vishnu that he 
was. To demonstrate to them that he was one 
who had realised Vishnu actually, he asked the 
God to whom he was devoted exclusively, to 
show himself, to the unbelieving antagonists of 
his, just as he was always housed in his own 
heart. On seeing this they regretted the error 
of their ways and accepted him as one very 
near indeed to God. Then he passed on to 
Kumbhakojjam and to various other holy places, 



and passed away at the end of a fabulously 
long life. 

This recital of the details of his life perhaps 
is of some little value as the one detail regarding 
his contemporary monarch of Kanchi may 
possibly lead us to locate him in point of time. 
The details given of this ruler are nothing very 
specific, and all that is said is, that, under this 
ruler, the Vishnu shrine at Vehka, now-a-days 
called generally Yadokta-kari (he who did as 
he was told) was in existence. In the poem, 
obviously composed to celebrate the Tondaman 
llam Tiraiyan, ruler of Kanchi, Kanchi is found 
to be described in general terms as a place 
where people of all persuasions found objects of 
worship which to them were holy, refers only 
to the shrine at Vehka * specifically in some 
little detail without the possibility of being 
mistaken. This would raise the presumption 
whether this Alvar was not contemporary with 
llam Tiraiyan of Kanchi. According to another 
version of the tradition of his life, he is said 
to have been one who had studied the various 
systems of religion current, and, in the course 
of his study he was at one stage of his life an 


II. 410-11. 


ardent Saiva (worshipper of Siva) and a man 
of great ability. Pey JLlvar is supposed to 
have met him in controversy, weaned him out of 
that faith and led him ultimately to become 
a Vaishnava. There is no specific reference 
that we know of for the present to confirm this 
tradition from his works ; but the general trend 
of these may go some way to make the change 
possible. Neglecting the details of the tradition, 
the general drift of it seems to be that this Xjvar 
was contemporary with the other three, belonged 
to a locality not far from Kanchi, and was 
contemporary with the Pallava monarch who 
may be identical with the Pallava Ilam Tiraiyan 
of Kanchi. Of his works included in the 
Prabandham there are just two, the one a centum 
like that of each of the three earlier Alvars 
named Nanmukhan Tiruvandadi, and another a 
little over a hundred (actually 120 stanzas) 
called Tiruchanda-viruttam. These are the only 
two works of the Alvar which we shall have to 

THE ALVAR'S CONVICTION. Like the other three 
5.Jvars we have already dealt with, this one is 
also ' similarly devoted to worship of Vishiju as 
the sole saviour. It may also be stated that this 
Slvar is not only of this conviction like the other 
three,- but quite fanatically so. The three early 



5lvars would show a tolerance of the worship of 
others, such as Brahma, Siva, Indra prominently 
mentioned. This one went the length of saying 
positively that he would not, as stanza 66 shows 
clearly*. He states categorically "Now my 
heart is the permanent abode of Him who, 
for a long time before, had for his place of 
residence the serpent couch. I affirm that 
I would not place, along with him, oiva who 
wears the crescent moon on his head, nor 
Brahma (Ayan) ; nor would I offer them service 
and go round them rightwise as a worshipper." 
This is a clear and unmistakable statement of 
his sole and exclusive faith in the saving grace 
of Vishnu and of none other. Numbers of other 
stanzas from this centum itself could be pointed 
out indicating this conviction, but in a much 
less aggressive form. He is as thoroughly 
convinced as the others, in fact as the 5lvars 
generally are, that the power to save in others 
is comparatively less efficient and is always 
governed by the consideration that the supreme 
Saviour really is Vishnu. He states this idea 
equally clearly in stanza 26 where he states it 

Nanmukhan TiruvandOdi, 66. 


broadly that " for my not having anybody else 
to worship than Vishnu, iva of matted locks 
is witness. * " We have already referred above 
to stanza 6 where he speaks of the people of 
other persuasions as pursuing faiths of inferior 
efficacy, and mentions among them Jains, 
Buddhists and Saivas particularly. In stanzas 
14 and 15 he states his faith with equal emphasis 
" Narayana is my Lord. Narayana is He that 
guards against my going to hell. It is strange 
that there should be people who, without 
reciting His name, are deluded in believing the 
false teachings of others " (stanza 14). " Those 
who are able to worship Vishnu by placing 
flowers at his feet worshipped by the very Gods 
themselves, would have the same saving benefit 
that Markandeya has had by worshipping the 
blue-throated oiva, " referring to Markandeya's 
escaping death without gaining the eternal life. 
In stanza 17 he states unmistakably that Siva 
himself, as Dakshinamurti, taught the four Rishis 
his pupils that he offered his worship to Him 
who measured the earth and slept on the 
baniyan leaf floating on the primeval waters, 

&r sifts wri_ rnb 6rp 
semi IT ib sL-Aojeoorg 
safer Q&trnrQpOLDiT gy. 

NSnmukhan Tiruvandftdi, 26. 


that is, Vishnu. A number more of stanzas of 
similar sentiment could be quoted with various 
illustrations taken from Indian religious litera- 
ture. He completes the centum with the following 
statement in stanza 96. * "I have learnt, for all 
time hereafter. You are my Lord, You are the 
God of Siva and the four-faced Brahma. I have 
learnt, for all time, that You are the cause of 
everything. You are the ultimate object of all 
learning, past and present. You are the good 
deed. You are Narayana. I have learnt this very 
well indeed," as summing up his own conviction. 

In what we have stated above already, 
we see the clear conviction of the Alvar that 
the two out of the three constituting the 
Hindu Trinity form a part of the supreme 
One Narayana. He starts the centum there- 
fore with a series of statements that Narayana 
created the four-faced Brahma ; that the four- 
faced one created Sankara with the same 
number of faces as himself. This profound 
truth he let the world know by means of this 
Andddi (series of verses linked up by taking 
one word of the last line to begin the following 

if spumed if ns 
oor if sear &]&&&&& nsireor 

Nanmukhan Tiruvandadi, 96. 


verse). He follows this statement by more 
clearly stating the supremacy of Vishnu as the 
Saviour. * " On consideration, they (wise ones) 
say that there is but one Grod ; that no one 
knows the extent of his greatness; that that is 
the ultimate end of all thought ; that the saving 
grace for all who devote themselves to doing 
penance ; is to be found only in Him who bears 
the disc (Vishnu) ". In stanza 4 he clearly 
states that Siva who hides in his matted locks 
Ganga (Granges) and the king of the Gods alike 
form part of his body, f In stanzas 42 and 43 
he states in clear terms that both Brahma and 
Siva were among the worshippers of Vengadam. 
In 54 comes in the general statement J that He 
shows himself as Grods, and, among them, the 

Nanmukhan Tiruvandadi, 21. 

&iTiB0rT6br ^/ ami trG strew 06srG^S)(8i}) 

Nanmukhan Tiruvandadi, 4. 

QpeuffirtL tip^u ^ 


ibid, 54. 


three prominent ones ; and all the others who exist 
are the great Vishnu himself. Those who do 
not hold this conviction make all their learning 
useless. In 73 again is a clear statement " Who 
can understand the greatness of Him, who 
swallowed the whole earth and threw it up again, 
of the great disc. That supreme body of His, 
neither the blue-throated oiva nor the eight-eyed 
Brahma have seen ". In 75 he states clearly, 
although the occasion is not altogether obvious, 
that Siva of matted locks worshipped him with 
flowers to the best of his ability, and did not 
attain to Vishnu's grace nevertheless. This 
should be enough to convince one that his 
devotion to Vishnu was such that he considered 
it that Vishnu alone was the Supreme Being and 
the fountain source of all grace and nobody else, 
and that other Gods worshipped by votaries of 
other persuasions were but following worship of 
beings inferior to Him. 

Coming next to this Alvar's references to 
Vengadam, there are certainly a number of 
references in this centum. The first reference 
is in stanza 31. It is a bare reference to 
Vengadam along with the other Vaishnava place 
Kottiyur. There is a simple reference in stanza 
39. There is a specific reference in 40 where it 
says that he was devoted to the God at 



Vengadam, who was constantly in his thought ; * 
" He is the beloved of Her who is described 
and quite extolled in the sciences, and I am 
inextricably caught in the net which is His feet ". 
There is a very interesting reference in 41 where 
he refers again to the holy One at Vengadam 
, having Entered his mind by being in residence 
at Vengadam. f In describing this hill at 
Vengadam there are two points that are brought 
out. The first is the mountain streams running 
down scattering pearls. By implication there is 
also the rattle of the running stream. Another 
kind of sound that is referred to as the normal 
feature of Vengadam is the sound that arises 
from the celebration of the festivals on Onam 
(Sans. ravana) days. This asterism is of course 
sacred to Vishnu, and is, in some form, attached 
to Vishnu as almost the asterism of his birth 
(one that has no birth). But the festival on this 

Nanmukhan TiruvandOdi, 40. 











asterism is, in some respects, peculiar to 
Tirupati, and is also usual in shrines where the 
deity installed is rmivasa, the abode of the 
Goddess Lakshmi, which is the ordinary familiar 
name of the God at Tirupati. The most sacred 
day in the year at Tirupati is this rava$a in 
the month of Purva-Bhadra. The next stanza * 
has reference to Vengadam also where the 
Alvar exhorts people to go and offer worship 
at Vengadam as it permanently destroys the 
evils of Karma, and offers as inducement that 
the lotus-born Brahma and the three-eyed iva 
alike placed lotus flowers at the feet of the 
God at Tirupati and worshipped Him. The 
next following stanza has a similar reference 
to the worship offered by the same two Gods. 
Stanza 44 is particularly interesting, as, in 
making a reference to Vengadam, he exhorts 
younger people particularly to go and offer 
worship at Vengadam. " Where stands the 
young one (prince, Kumara), who of old counted 
up the heads of the Rakshasa, being a child 
in the lap of Brahma, whose beneficence the 
Rakshasa sought (by penance). " This is an 

) d?/f<abu>uj/rw 



allusion to Vishnu who assumed the form of a 

baby and placed himself in the lap of Brahma 

just on the eve of his granting the boon prayed 

for by Ravana after he had performed the 

severest penance. There is a similar reference 

to this incident in stanza 45 of the centum of 

Poygai Alvar and in stanza 77 of Pey Slvar. 

I have not been able to discover the Puranic 

authority for this incident which is likely to be 

found in some one or other of the various 

sources of that kind of information. But the 

point that should be specially noted in regard 

to this incident is that the Grod standing in 

Tirupati is described by the term Kumaran 

(Sans. Kumara), which was taken to mean 

Balasubrahmanya exclusively, and to support 

the theory that the Tirupati shrine was a 

Subrahmanya shrine. This reference puts that 

out quite unmistakably, as also several others 

we have quoted from Pey ilvar. The next 

following stanza 45 has a reference to Vengadam 

also of the ordinary kind. The next three 

stanzas 46, 47 and 48 refer to Vengadam. The 

special feature of the reference in the first 

is that the Kuravar of the locality were 

accustomed to surrounding the elephants for 

the purpose of capturing them, a sort of an 

ancient kheddah. In the next one Vengadam 

is described as peculiarly famous for its 



trees, for its monkeys and the class of people 
called Vedar (Vettuvar or the hunter class). 
The next one is a little more interesting 
which states broadly that Vengadam is the place 
worshipped by those of heaven. Vengadam 
is really the place which destroys the results of 
karma. Vengadam is the place of Him who, 
by the use of his disc, destroyed the Danavas, 
and thus protected the heavenly hosts, making 
a clear equation of the God in Vengadam 
with Vishnu. The next reference to Vengadam 
is in stanza 90, although the reference is 
general. That is so far as this particular centum 
ofthisSlvar is concerned. It comes out again 
and again in the course of this work of the 
Alvar that Tirupati was a place sacred to 
Vishnu, and the God installed in the temple 
there is Vishnu and nobody else. Mention is 
made of the presence of other Gods particularly 
the two Siva and Brahma as forming part of his 
body, but none the less it is clearly stated that 
the object of worship is Vishnu and not the 
others, even to the extent of declining to offer 
worship to this God if these two happened to be 
really any integral part of the Supreme. 

There are a few other interesting general 
references which may be noted before we close 
this section. We have already referred to the 



Alvar's acquaintance with, or his knowledge of, 
other religions. There are two very specific 
references a few more general ones can be 
quoted also to the Grita. Stanza 50 says 
specifically that " the words of Kannan who is 
lying on the bank of a river " and " Mayan 
who is lying asleep on the sea " " lie embedded 
in my heart ". A similar sentiment is expressed 
in 71 where the God is referred to as Mayan 
who was the shepherd king (Ayan) of Dvaraka, 
and states it roundly that all that people in the 
world know is not knowledge if they do not 
know " the words that this Mayan spoke on that 
day ", referring undoubtedly to the Gita. In 
stanza 54 he gives expression to the same 
sentiment in much more general terms asserting 
the supremacy of Vishnu. In stanza 60 is a 
reference, where Vishnu is addressed as the 
God resident in Srirangam, and is stated to 
be the rare good substance to those of great 
hearing (learning which is only heard, Sruti ; 
compare 69.) In stanza 75 there is a definite 
statement that he " would not use the tojigue 
to sing the glory of man " but would " sing 
only of Him, who was not pleased to accept 
the prayer of even 6iva who went and offered 
the highest worship to him with flowers in 
the prescribed form ". Stanza 76 is much 
more interesting in. .this line as it refers 



definitely to Mann as a Sruti work (Ketta 
Manu\ and then follows the term ruti which 
commentators interpret as a specific reference to 
a part of the Taittiriya Samhita of the Yajur 
Veda, a part of the Veda peculiarly sacred to 
the Bhakti school of Pancharatra. And then 
follows the four Vedas in the ordinary way of 
reference to Vedas generally. All these are said 
to be " the truths which in his Maya, Vishnu 
taught to people. " * There is an interesting 
reference in stanza 88 that those alone live that 
live in constant contemplation of him who is ever 
sedulous in the removal of all that gives pain 
to his devotees, while the life of those who follow 
the instructions of other persuasions is life 
wasted. In the final stanza of the centum, f he 
declares emphatically his faith in Vishnu as if 
he made that discovery just then " I have now 
learnt that Thou art the Grod of Siva (Isa) and 

UL.L- $ fl)L\. 

Nanmukhan TiruvandSdi, 76. 

t G <$ ear 
tf sp 
r $ isebrs/fiaGpebr /j/ror. 

ibid, 96. 


Brahma (Nan-mukha.) I have learnt as well 
that You are my Lord. 1 have now learnt 
further that You are the cause of all. You are 
the end of all learning. You are certainly the 
object of all learning and of all good deeds. 
You are Narayana. All this I have learnt very 
well indeed. " 

We next pass on to the other of his works 
called Tirucchanda Viruttam, a work of 120 
stanzas cast in a peculiar alliterative metre 
which gives it the name. In this work the Alvar 
shows himself to be thoroughly acquainted with 
the whole of the Vaishnava teaching for a 
complete exposition of which one has to be 
thoroughly acquainted with what is generally 
known as oruti literature, the Vedas, Upanishads ? 
and accessory literature necessary for their 
understanding. Then come the Puranas and the 
Itihasas which are illustrative of what Sruti 
literature is supposed to expound. Lastly the 
teaching of the Bhagavatas called Pancharatra 
which it is that gives a clear exposition of the 
supremacy of Vishnu, the way of service to Him 
to earn His grace, and ultimately that, for all 
that one might do, His grace and nothing else 
is the means to the attainment of salvation. 
While his Nanmukhan Tiruvandadi, the centum 
we have already discussed states in general 



terras, like the three centa of the other three 
Alvars, this teaching, this work of Tirnmalisai 
seems to lay down more thoroughly his convic- 
tion in regard to this particular matter, and may, 
more or less, be regarded as a declaration of 
faith by the Alvar, and how he came to it, 
forming as such a sort of hand-book to his 
Vaishnavism. Apart from the Vaishnava teach- 
ing in this work, it has also some references 
to Vengadam and we shall deal with these as 
we have done with the others. 

In the first half of this work he describes 
clearly the fundamental teaching of the 
Vaishnavas which makes Vishnu the supreme 
deity. This, of course, he could establish only 
by reference to authorities such as are recognised 
by believers in the teaching of the Veda, direct 
and indirect. This Alvar brings into this part 
of the work, as though it were the really 
orthodox teaching, the Pancharatraic notions, 
the really peculiar ones, of the Vyuhas, Vibhava, 
etc., as is clear in stanza 17 ;* " Thou art of 
one form. Thou art of three forms. Thou art 
likewise of four forms. Thou art again of 


airs Qpir&fS fuJcariDiTUJ rEeufEisiei) QL^IE^ QLDGV 
<$ Qprrpfdiutnu ojsooreoaru) GTeorQprrweviTJd GpeuGeor. (17) 



various forms for the enjoyment (by worship) of 
people ; Thou art of forms suitable to the good 
that people may have done (in this or in previous 
births). Thou art thus of forms innumerable. 
Oh, the First one (God), how is it that Thou hast 
become the First one of different forms according 
to the wishes of your worshippers, having been 
abed on the great serpent in the great ocean ? ". 
The doctrines of the Pancharatra are so inextri- 
cably mixed up in the works of these Alvars that 
it would be a matter of very considerable 
difficulty to separate these as distinctive of the 
PSncharZtr&ic teaching. None the less, they 
are very clear to those who have primed 
themselves with the necessary introductory 
preparation. Further he shows, in the course 
of the work, that he is acquainted with the 
teaching of the Saiva 5.gamas, and is well posted 
in the details of the Pauranic teaching of 
Hinduism. It is really this kind of a synthesis 
that perhaps transformed the Vedic Brahmanism 
of old into the Hinduism, as we sometimes 
distinguish the one from the other. This is 
not the place nor the occasion to deal with that 
general question. It should be enough here to 
state it broadly that the so-called Pancharatraic 
teaching is not quite so recent as is often times 
asserted nay it would be more justifiable to 
regard it as a teaching running concurrently 



with the Brahmanical teaching of sacrifices as 
the means to ultimate salvation. Much that is 
actually taught in the Grlta is scattered through 
the works of this A) var, who mentions the work 
in unmistakable terms, as also in those of the 
other Alvars, recognising the threefold path to 
salvation by Karma (deeds or works), Gnana 
(true knowledge) and Bhakti (devotion and 
service). This Alvar comes to the conclusion 
that these recognised means, in the last resort, 
have to depend entirely upon His grace for 
receiving their fulfilment. In other words one 
can never attain to salvation whatever his 
position in regard to works, knowledge or 
service, unless he had served to gain the grace 
of the Supreme. Again and again the Alvar 
repeats in the work that he was not entitled to 
adopt the recognised method of Vaidic practices 
for the attainment of salvation ; but that he 
could hope to achieve salvation only by earning 
His grace efficaciously. There are services of 
various kinds laid down as part of Agamaic 
teaching and expounded in the charya (service) 
chapters of these works, offering devoted service 
and worship to Grod, imaged in various forms 
and placed in particular localities with a view 
to worship and service offered therein in various 
Ways. The orthodox way of worship involves 
knowledge of the Veda and performance of 



certain Vaidic ceremonies for which every one 
is not competent. To those who cannot attain 
to salvation by that means, other kinds of 
service are indicated as equally efficacious, 
namely, services rendered to bring about this 
worship by building temples, providing the 
means and making the necessary arrangements 
for conducting this worship properly, both for 
the benefit of those that worship and for the 
much larger body of people who are not able 
to conduct that worship for themselves. Such 
as could really render service of various kinds, 
even of a manual character, and such services 
rendered with sincere devotion, entitle one to 
salvation almost in the same way as the service 
rendered by those who are learned in the Veda 
and could render service in the recognised 
orthodox fashion. 

Having arrived at this conviction, the Alvar 
proceeds to expound it through this work of 
120 stanzas, in a systematic form. He expounds 
the general principles of the faith in which is 
comprised the whole of the Pancharatraic 
teaching in the first section which may go down 
to almost the first third of the work. The actual 
P^tkcharStrSic doctrines plainly come in stanza 
U ^already referred to in detail above, and that 
id enforced in stanza 29, not altogether in the 



same detail, but none the less unmistakably. 
This is repeated in stanzas 31 and 34 as well. 
After having expounded clearly the conception 
of the Supreme, in accordance with the teaching 
of the orthodox Vaidic literature as well as the 
Agamaic, he proceeds to consider in the next 
part of the work as to what actually should be 
done by those who had not the means by birth, 
capacity and qualifications to understand His 
inscrutable nature by the methods open to the 
enlightened. He lays down clearly that the 
orthodox and complicated way of propitiation 
by the highly enlightened is impossible for 
others ; but there are ways of offering worship 
open to them w r hich would be quite as efficacious 
to attain the ultimate object. This is the path 
of service, service rendered in various ways. 
In this section the worship of Grod in the various 
forms in which he is installed for worship in 
temples is next indicated as easily as possible, 
provided one is determined to pursue the path 
with sincerity and devotion. Having laid down 
this general principle, he describes in a number 
of stanzas his devotion to the image in the 
temples at Srirangam, at Kumbhakonam and in 
Conjeevaram, all dedicated to Vishnu, pointing 
out, inter alia here and there, that that is a kind 
of service that even Grods like Brahma and 
Diva have had to render to the Supreme in order 



to obtain the very power for the discharge of 
their respective functions even. Then he points 
out that, so long as one pursues this with 
complete sincerity and single-minded devotion, 
it would not matter who he is, he may be sure 
of Grod's grace. Then he proceeds to point out 
that, notwithstanding this devoted service, and 
the title that one gains in consequence to His 
grace, grace cannot be compelled and demanded 
as a matter of right. It must come as the 
outcome of the graciousness of the Supreme. 
So he lays down in the last part of the work 
that it is absolutely necessary for one, however 
sincere and devoted he be in his service to God, 
that he resign himself in His hands for the 
final attainment of grace. It is here that he 
takes occasion to point out that he had not had 
the good fortune to be born in the four castes 
(kula) nor to have had the opportunity to have 
studied the Veda and accessory literature, nor 
had he practised the control of the five senses 
and their activities. Thus having been driven 
to the only course open to him, he confesses 
that there is 110 means to gain salvation except 
by single-minded worship at His sacred feet. 
He makes this great confession in stanza 90* 


esr Quirjj)itSG<sv6sr y 

vrreSgyii. (9Q) 



of the work, and, having said that, he lays down 
in the following thirty verses the greatness of 
God's grace, and resignation to His will as the 
natural means to salvation to all alike, stating, 
in so many terms, that the safest vessel by 
means of which to carry oneself across the ocean 
of samsara is the sacred feet of God. In 
stanzas 100 and 101 he makes the point clearer 
by saying that he makes efforts to do his best to 
be perpetually contemplating on His lotus feet ; 
but prays that He would so regard it; and 
follows it up in 103 by a further prayer to God, 
whom he describes as One who carries on His 
chest the Goddess Lakshmi, as the conduct 
prescribed in the Rig Veda, as the one of 
the colour of a heavily laden cloud, that He 
might enable him to recite His name without 
intermission. He conies to the conclusion at 
the end of the work that " having made me 
wander through various births, He has at last 
come to save me by making my mind devote 
itself to Him (without any delusion) as the 
sole Saviour ". 

Other points worthy of note in this work are 
where the Alvar speaks almost contemptuously 
of other Gods of repulsive appearance and of 
reputation hard to reconcile with godhead, and 
exhorts people to devote themselves to Vishnu 



and destroy birth. In 72 there is a specific 
reference to Lakshmi and Bhumi being His 
consorts ; he also states that the lotus-born 
Brahma was his son, and his son is the one the 
half of whose body is Uma and whose vehicle is 
the bull, and states clearly that this relationship 
found described in Vedic works is certainly 
not without truth. In 87 he makes a declaration 
that his devotion goes to the feet of Him 
exhibited in the Veda as the Supreme, who is 
worshipped with conviction, arising out of 
learning, by him with an eye in the face (oiva), 
the king of heaven (Indra) and the Lord of the 
flower (Brahma), alike. In stanza 90, he comes 
to the definite statement : " I was not born in 
any one of the divisions which goes by the name 
kulam (class or caste). I am not learned in the 
good things which the four Vedas teach. I have 
not succeeded in gaining control over the five 
senses. I am still labouring in the meshes of the 
passions. Notwithstanding all this, I have no 
attachment but to Your holy feet". This 
autobiographical detail expressed with so much 
emphasis gives indication of at least an 
unknown, if not an inferior birth, and therefore 
his incapacity to follow the orthodox teaching 
and the prescribed methods for the pursuit of 
salvation. He is therefore driven to adopt other 
methods, to gain the same end, open to those of 



his condition. He ultimately expounds in the 
course of the work what those are, and indicates 
by his own example the efficaciousness of simple 
prayer by the recital of His name, provided only 
one exhibits, in the performance of this simple 
form of worship, unalloyed sincerity and 
absolutely exclusive devotion to the Supreme 
God. He is convinced, not without investigation 
of the prevalent alternatives, that throwing 
himself upon God's mercy is the surest way to 
the attainment of His grace provided the path 
is pursued with whole-hearted devotion. 

This elaborate study of these early Alvars 
gives us an insight into the condition of religion 
at the time that these flourished. We see from 
the works of these alone that the religion of 
worship and service to God, in some one form or 
another with a view to the attainment of His 
grace, is regarded as the most efficacious method 
of gaining the most cherished of human ends, 
the destruction of birth, growth, decay and 
death ; all that is included in samsara. As far 
as these Xlvars are concerned however, the only 
deity capable of showing this saving grace is 
Vishnu, and the other deities who had perhaps a 
certain amount of following at the time, were of 
inferior capacity for this particular purpose. 
Coming down to the actual exercise of thin 



devotion, we find that the methods prescribed as 
validly efficacious are those of service essentially, 
service by means of Vedic learning and Vedic 
rites, we might almost say primarily. Where 
this is found to be impossible, as in the case of 
the great majority of people, except in the case 
of the very elite, service of a simpler kind is 
recommended, and even this service may take a 
large variety of forms according to capacity and 
means. The best in the last resort, and well 
within the capacity of all, is the mere recital of 
the name of the deity ; but the essence of the 
service of worship thus rendered is in the 
sincerity and single-mindedness of the devotion 
shown in the performance of the service. It 
would not matter what form of service devotion 
takes, salvation is certain ; but not as the 
inevitable return for the service, but as a matter 
of grace by the deity, pleased with the devoted 
service rendered to him. This is what in 
Vaish^ava parlance is called prapatti resigna- 
tion or surrender into the hands of the deity, 
placing oneself in the position of being deserving 
of His grace. If the details of this norm of 
worship found scattered through the works of 
these Alvars could be collected together and 
examined as a whole, it will be found that that 
is almost in every detail the teaching of the 
Va&hgava Igamas, called Pancharatra, which, 



in times much before this, was known as. the 
teaching of the Bhagavatas. These Bhagavatas 
were a set of people who regarded Bhagavan 
Vasudeva (Krishna) as the sole Supreme, being 
capable of exercising His grace and giving 
salvation to people. They did not consider it 
necessary to sacrifice animals in the performance 
of Yagnas (the great sacrifices), and would 
preach the doctrine of Ahimsa in consequence. 
That teaching runs through and through the 
works of these Alvars, so that what was merely 
the persuasion of a section of the people had 
become gradually transformed into one of general 
efficacy for all alike, though the prescribed 
method might vary in detail according to 

The teaching of the Gita is constantly there 
in addition to this, as well as what is sometimes 
described as Pauranic Hinduism, a distinction 
which it . would be rather difficult to justify 
and almost impossible to make. So then with 
these Alvars, we seem to be living in an age 
when modern Hinduism, as distinct from the 
Vedic Brahmanism which alone is generally 
taken to be described in the Vedas and_ Vedic 
literature, had gained great vogue. It would-be 
Brueh .better .to .regard these two not IA cpnti^r 
distinction, but. more., or. less #s_ jtwQ, phases ey 



aspects of the same teaching, the only difference 
being a difference of emphasis. 

The norms of worship being thus laid down, 
it follows, as night follows day, that the most 
popular feature of worship is the worship of 
forms of God visible to the eye, and under- 
standable to the average intelligence of 
uncultured humanity. Abstract conceptions are 
brought down to definite forms perceivable by 
the senses and appealing even to the physical 
eyes, although in origin subjective. Worship of 
images, originally conceived in the mind and 
actually translated into material forms for 
congregational worship, comes to be the essence 
of general religious service. Worship of images 
or forms of Gods of various kinds, in temples, the 
undertaking of pilgrimages to these, devotional 
service of various kinds, material and personal 
in respect of these, all became part and parcel 
of this form of religion. We see this in full 
swing in the works of these Alvars. It is not 
only Tirupati or Vengadam that figures in the 
works of these Alvars specifically ; but a fairly 
large number of other places of repute as places 
of pilgrimage sacred to Vishnu, are also 
mentioned. The references to Tirupati go 
sometimes into circumstantial detail to indicate, 
if not to describe to us in so many words, that 



the course of worship prescribed and conducted 
throughout the year had already attained to 
some considerable vogue. A specific feature 
like the worship on dvadaSi days, the festivals 
of Sravana and things like that, lets us know that 
the annual arrangements had already come into 
practice. These, taken along with the general 
statement made by a classical Tamil author like 
Mamulanar, and the practice of worship of 
varioiis deities in an important place like 
Conjeevaram referred to by Rudraii Kannan 
would give us clear indication that the age of 
temple worship and worship conducted in the 
manner prescribed by the Bhakti school, had 
already come to prevail in full form. The 
teaching of the Vaishnavism of Ramanuja seems 
to be already found in full growth, if not perhaps 
in all its detail, and the three different bases of 
that teaching, the Vedic literature, the teaching 
of the Grita and the Agamaic teaching of the 
Pancharatra are all of them found in these 
works as they are found in the works of 
Raman uja and his predecessors. We shall now 
pass on to Nammalvar, the central figure among 
these Alvars. 




We have already noted that the three Ajvars, 
called Mndal Alvars by way of distinction, and 
Tirumalisai Alvar who followed can be regarded 
as contemporaries on the basis of the tradition 
that they met with one another at Tiru VelikS 
in Kanchi, and even that Pey Alvar was 
responsible for reclaiming him to Vaishjjavism 
from Saivism. Whatever be the value of the 
tradition as such, there is enough evidence, 
internal evidence in their works, for us to take 
it that they cannot be regarded as far removed 
from each other in point of time, the closeness of 
the works going far enough to justify the 
position, apart from other extraneous evidence. 
It would therefore be in keeping with our present 
knowledge of the state of affairs to take it. that 
these four may be regarded as of one age,.. and 
in a class by themselves, among the Alvars. 
Next after them comes Nammalvar generally 
regarded by Vaishnava tradition as the best and 
the greatest of them all, and his works have 
come to be regarded as quite a faithful rendering 
of all that IB of value in the teaching of the 


Veda, so that the Tiruvaymoli of Naminalvar 
is regarded generally as being a rendering of 
the Veda in Tamil. Not only that, the very 
name TiruvSymoli (Sans, Sruti) seems intended 
to convey that meaning. We have high 
authority, 1he authority of the Sangam literature 
for vdymoli being just the rendering, and 
quite a correct rendering, of what the Sans- 
kritists call Sruti as distinct from perhaps 
the Upanishads, although Sruti in a general 
popular sense includes not only the Veda 
proper, but all the literature dependent upon 
the Veda and cultivated in the world as accessory 
studies essential to the understanding of the 
Vedic texts. The earliest Tamils seem to 
have made the distinction between the Veda 
proper, and the Upanishads, by calling the first 
vaymoli and the second marai, which latter has 
now become more or less the popular name for 
all that is included in what might be called 
Vedic literature. That distinction between 
o&ymoli and marai seems to have been real 
enough down to the time of Tirumangai Alvar 
in the middle of the 8th century, as some 
references in his work could be quoted to 
justify the position. The term Tiruvaymoli 
therefore would be an exact Tamil rendering of 
an expression like Sri Sruti, Sruti of course, 
with the complimentary attribute Sri. Speaking 



from the point of view of pure literature, 
Nammalvar may be regarded as a transition as 
it were between the first Alvars, including in 
that designation the first four and the later ones 
down to Tirumangai 5lvar. The first three 
Alvars have cast their poems in the veyba 
metre in Tamil, and where the classical 
commentators on even the Tolkappiyam quoted 
Poygai Xlvar, all the stanzas quoted against 
that name happen to be in the venba metre. 
Among them two are from the first Tiruvandadi 
of this Alvar. In respect of the fourth, however, 
there are 200 verses in the Prabhandha Four 
Thousand ascribed to him. The first 100 is in 
the venbZ metre, like the works of the first 
three, and is as a matter of fact included in that 
section of the collection. In regard to the 
other centum which is really 120 stanzas, it is 
in the vritta metre, itself called Tirucchanda 
Viruttam, which would simply mean poem in 
vritta metre alliterative and adaptable to music. 
Therefore Tirumalisai is in part with the Mudal 
Sjvars holding them by one hand and 
stretching out the other to come into connection 
with the rest of them from this point of view. 
Further, as a rule these early Alvars, who are 
characterised as " Singers of Classical Tamil " 



by Tirumangai 5.1var, * are much more natura- 
listic and objective in their description, and do 
not indulge in the more or less well-developed 
imaginative emotionalism of Nammalvar and the 
other later Alvars. Nammalvar's Tiruvaymoli 
carries this feature to perfection and has 
become the model, more or less, for all later 
literature of the school of Bhakti which have 
developed this side to a much greater extent 
even than these. While we would be justified 
in saying that the Mudal Alvars show fairly 
full acquaintance with Sanskrit literature, 
Pauranic and other, relating* to the subject of 
Bhakti, Tirumalisai Alvar goes much farther 
afield in the exhibition of his knowledge of 
Sanskrit literature bearing upon Bhakti, even 
to the extent of exhibiting full acquaintance 
with the Agamaic teaching of the Pancharatra 
and of the Veda proper. Nammalvar goes much 
farther and shows, in his extensive writings, a 
full grasp of the teachings of the Veda as a 
whole, or the Vaidic bases of Vishnu Bhakti, 
that he may well be regarded an interpreter in 
Tamil of the Vedic lore on the particular subject. 

SV e$V//?<5l> off IT Q IT FT UU IT IT 

i Qsrrco Qpifi&& 

Periya Tirumoli, II, 8, 2. 



Hence his principal works are regarded as each 
one expounding a particular Veda of the four 
Vedas and thus justifying the encomium 
bestowed on him by later writers, such as 
Kamban, " the learned one who had rendered 
the Veda in Tamil ". 


not to expound the teaching of Nammalvar here, 
but to indicate his position in regard to the 
knowledge which he exhibits of Vengadam. 
His works are, as they appear in the Prabaridha 
collection in order (1) Tiruviruttam said to be 
an exposition of the Rig Veda ; (2) TiruvaSiriyam 
of the Yajur Veda ; (3) the Periya Tiruvandadi, 
of the Atharva Veda, and the last but the best 
work of his the Tiruvaymoli, of the Sama Veda. 
Of these the third is in the venba metre. The 
first is in the vritta metre. The second is in a 
metre which may be said to be rather characte- 
ristic of Tamil, and the last mostly vritta of 
different varieties. He may be regarded there- 
fore purely from the literary point of view to 
have come in between these early 5.1vars, and 
the later ones. What is really more to our 
point, the references to Vengadam in the works 
of this Alvar are entirely of a different character 
as we shall notice. In the work Periya Tiru- 
vandadi, which comes closest to the work of 



these early JLlvars, the references that he makes 
to Tirnpati seem to be of a character similar 
to those of the others. As we pass on from 
them, we find him moving away more and more 
into the artificiality and high convention of 
Tamil literature. 

We shall next proceed to the details regard- 
ing his references to tiie Vishnu shrine at 
Tirupati. Unlike the Mudal Alvars and even 
Tirumalisai Alvar, it may be said of Nammalvar 
at the outset that such references as he makes 
to Tirupati are more or less of a character to 
meet the requirements of the literary artist. 
Like the later kalambakam writers who are 
often content with the mere mention of the 
name of the shrine they write about, so in the 
case of this Sjvar the references are of a 
subordinate character and border quite on the 
mere mention of the name. He devotes one ten 
of the Tiruvaymoli to Tirupati itself, and there 
he says certain things which may be regarded 
as something much more specific than the mere 
references -adverted to above. In this case, he 
makes explicit references to the great shrine at 
Tirupati. There are just one or two other tens 
where he does indeed refer to Tirupati, but the 
references are not of this explicit character, 
though they may be regarded as indubitable 



references to the particular shrine. He seems 
to be writing on the whole from what he had 
heard of the great reputation of the shrine for 
holiness, and has therefore to be regarded as 
writing of that shrine, as he does of very 
many others of holy reputation, without that 
intimate knowledge of the place that the other 
Sjlvars exhibit in regard to Tirupati. There are 
actually seven references to Tirupati in the 
Tiruviruttam. They are more or less of the 
form of address where he apostrophizes some of 
the flower gardens as being of the country of 
Tirupati, or of Tirupati which has beautiful 
gems all round the hill glowing in daylight. 
The Tiruvairiyam has no direct references to 
Tirupati. The TiruvaSiriyam and the Periya 
Tiruvandadi do not contain any direct reference 
to Timpati as such, but stanza 7 of the latter 
contains a reference to Lakshmi being on the 
chest of Vishnu, which is the exact meaning 
of the term Srmivasa, the name of the God at 

These three works taken together, however, 
form a methodical presentation of the Alvar's 
petition to the God to exhibit His saving grace. 
So he begins by saying that his object was to get 
rid of birth in this life of samsara, and would 
appeal to Him who is ever on the look out for 



saving souls and who had put himself through 
a number of births to the same great purpose. 
The whole of the 100 stanzas are to the same 
purport, and the idea is presented in all the 
variety of literary form of which the Alvar shows 
himself to be a perfect master. In this centum 
the Alvar draws a comparison between those 
who have once had attained to eternal life and 
remained perpetually in the enjoyment of His 
immediate presence, and the great majority 
like himself still wallowing in the seemingly 
inextricable mire of worldly life, and naturally 
prays that he may be enabled to get rid of 
the entanglements of worldly life and be enabled 
to join the select company of those. Incidentally 
therefore he has to describe the' great qualities 
of God, the praise of which and the resigning of 
oneself to His discretion, are the only means for 
the attainment of emancipation. This cannot be 
attained except by one's own effort, and the 
opportunity is offered for him to exert himself; 
and how he exercises himself to attain this end is 
what is expounded in the following works of his. 
In the Tiruviruttam he is made to expound as it 
were what is possible of achievement in this 
life, the realisation of the great qualities of the 
Supreme Being and the way of knowledge to 
attain to this experience. This is further 
expounded in the Tiruviruttam as, in the case of 



what relates to God, what has coine into one's 
experience is something which is likely to be 
very small in comparison to the infinite character 
of His great qualities. It is those ideas that are 
expounded in the three works. The first may be 
regarded as a set of prayers offered to God with 
a view to gaining His sympathy for the attain- 
ment of salvation ; the next one is devoted to a 
description of Grod. and how He works his purpose 
on earth; and then in the third, the means by 
which worldly life eonld be got rid of and the 
eternal life achieved by service, knowledge and 
devotion culminating in complete self-surrender 
are described. The Alvar comes to this conclu- 
sion in the third of these poems and this idea is 
carried forward in the main work of his, the 
Tiruvaymoli, that Grod has taken possession of 
him, and it is He, not the Alvar himself, who 
sings the verses, ascribed to him whether it be 
those of the Tiruvaymoli. or the other three 
works of this Alvar. The idea runs through and 
through these works, as in the case of the other 
Alvars, that Vishnu in any one of His forms is 
the Great Supreme, and that He works His 
purpose on earth in many forms. The other 
Gods who come in for worship by others are no 
more than certain forms or aspects of this One, 
and the worship that is offered to them is no 
mare than worship offered to Him, only in- 



directly. That is the general basal idea which 
often times gets to be expressed in the course 
of these poems. * Stanzas 08, 71 and 72 of the 
Periya Tiruvandadi express these ideas, and 
states that idea, with which we are familiar in the 
first four Alvars, that, in the body of Vishnu, 
iva finds a place in His chest, and Brahma in 
His navel, and the other gods in other places 
so that all of them together constitute His body, 
Himself being the soul infusing life into them 
and making them do what they do. 

The Tiruvaymoli has about 16 separate 
references to Tirupati of about the same character 
we referred to already in his other works. He 
devotes one ten completely to Tirupati itself, 
and, in one or two other tens further down in the 

L Q&isvso 

ft. SYTL/gJ/F g) 

ULJIT l6B>ff ULl 





y,. (72) 

Periya Tiruvandadi. 


course of the work, he is supposed to refer to 
Tirupati in particular, though Tirupati is not 
specifically referred to in these tens. The same 
general idea runs through and through. In this 
work he works out to the full the literary form 
that shows itself already in the Tiruviruttam 
which has become the characteristic of the later 
emotional forms of Vishnu worship all over 
India, South as well as North. Love becomes 
the theme, and it is the pining away of a damsel 
for the company of her lover that is the form 
that is most affected, although often times 
maternal love, the love of the mother to the child 
in all its frolics, and the sympathetic suffering of 
the mother for a daughter pining away in a 
lovelorn condition in various aspects, constitute 
the other possible forms for this to take and find 
exposition in the Tiruvaymoli in as good and full 
a form as it could be found anywhere else. In 
the whole range of Tamil literature, this work 
forms the basis upon which is built the emotional 
worship ; even such distant schools of thought as 
the Grujarat school of Vaishnavism of Vallabha- 
charya and the Bengal school of Chaitanya 
drawing their inspiration therefrom. These 
schools differ only in mere detail, and sometimes 
in the local colour, but in essentials they are 
absolutely nothing more than what is found in 
the works of Nammalvar. 



The Tiruvaymoli Thousand serves for the 
Ajvar to depict the progress of a soul han- 
kering for that association with God which 
is the lot of the emancipated elect (Nityasuri). 
The work therefore begins with his giving 
the fullest expression to his devotion generally, 
and all the details of service by means of 
which that devotion can be made manifest. 
He struggles to find a way to describe Him 
and His qualities in a way acceptable to 
Him. This is service by prayer as it were, 
when rendered properly and adequately, to 
enable him to reach this goal of his ambition. 
Finding that it does not effectuate immediately 
in the much desired union, he tries to change 
his method, and see whether he could canvass 
it, not by the mere mechanical service, but by 
an effort at a correct exposition by way of 
knowledge, which implies the practice of Togic 
concentration for acquiring that correct under- 
standing. While this course gives him more 
satisfaction, it still falls short of enabling him 
to reach the goal, and he has recourse to the 
other course, the course of Bhakti, complete 
devotion, by means of love and self-surrender, 
as the fitting terminal of service to 
comes the feeling of realisation, 
expresses his gratification that he he 
achieved the end he strove so fai 



In the course of the work therefore, all the 
thousand verses are divided into ten groups, 
each group containing ten stanzas, more often 
eleven than ten, and thus provides a Tamil 
literary classic, almost a model for this kind of 
expression of high emotion in all its glorious 
forms. Naturally therefore such a mode does 
not admit of much of objective description, and 
we fail to find, even in the references to Tirupati 
as such, the references to such details even of 
worship, or of festive celebration, as we 
occasionally do come upon in the earlier poets 
of this group. Even in the tens specially 
devoted to Tirupati the Alvar does not give us 
any definite knowledge of details which would 
warrant the inference of his direct acquaintance 
with the place, or the organisation of worship in 
the temple. Nevertheless he reminds us con- 
stantly that, for a true knowledge of Q-od, one 
has to seek it in the Veda, " the flowering flame, 
that is the four Vedas, which contain sacred 
knowledge " in III, 1, 10. * The same idea 
recurs in another place where he refers to the 
same knowledge as " the nectar churned from 

III, 3, 9. 


out of- the Veda cultivated by Brahmaijas ", I f 
3, 5. This section III is devoted entirely to 
Tirupati, and the details that he gives of 
Tirupati are more or less of a general character 
absolutely, a description of the natural features 
of the hill, In I, 3, 7, however, there is a 
reference to the offer of worship with flowers, 
water and the burning lamp, with which the 
heavenly ones offer worship. Anything more 
specific than this we do not get from him. In 
III, 7, 9., the Alvar counts himself as the devoted 
slave many times over of those devoted to 
Vishnu, even if they should be born in a class 
below the four which go by the name of kula 
(caste) and lead the life of the Chandala. * Such 
an idea often occurs not merely in the writings 
of this Alvar, but even among those of several 
others. While from this it is clear that it is 
possible for inferior mortals to attain to that 
correct understanding of Grod, and even of 

Tiruvaymoli, III, 7, 9. 

Gu)evrTtT<5 < far&Q<(T<5ssr eS&arQ^fT Qu^Lorreor 


ibid, IV, 7, 8. 


nearness to his presence, it must be borne in 
mind that this should not be interpreted as any 
kind of an assertion of secular equality. We 
find a clear evidence of his condemnation of 
the habits of this class of people in IV, 6-8 in 
unmistakable terms. The actual kind of worship 
he prefers is referred to again in V, 2-9, which 
consists in the repetition of His name and the 
praise of His qualities, and the presentation to 
Him of worship in forms prescribed by the 
knowing, with flowers, incense, lamps, unguants, 
water and other such gifts. * 

Coining down to the more general character 
of his devotion, we find him stating it clearly 
and unmistakably, in the ninth ten of the 
third section, f that what powers of poetry he 

ibid, V, 2, 9. 

> Qffireo&toj&r Gsm 

ibid, HI, 9, 1. 

Q* fftorgfu* uLuesfievfa) (usa>uQr tip pear GOT 

**a, in; 9, 5. 



might have, he would devote only to Him of 
Tiruveiigadam and to none else. In the course 
of this very ten, he points out the uselessness of 
utilising this gift in praise of the rich ones 
among the world, and inveighs against such an 
improper use, giving one almost the idea that, in 
the age in which he lived, such was largely the 
prevalent practice. The definite reference to 
Vallal (patron) in the 5th verse of this ten, seems 
to be a clear and specific reference to this 
particular feature of the Tamil poets of this age, 
which may throw indirectly some light upon the 
time in which he flourished. 

One other detail of a similar general 
character calls for notice. The 5.1var expresses 
himself immensely gratified at the prevalence of 
devout service to Him as in the second ten of the 
fifth section. This idea recurs time and again, 
and he seems almost to repeat the idea so tersely 
expressed in stanza 87 of the first Tiruvandadi of 
Poygai Alvar. The similarity of notion is so 
great that the age was remarkable for the way 
of Bhakti coming into its own, as against other 
forms of religious service. A general review of 
these details taken together gives the impression 
that, at the time that these Slvars flourished, 
Hindu society, if it should be so-called, was just 
returning from other forms of worship, or 



religious service, to this particular form and 
when the 5lvar actually gloats in joy over the 
passing away of the Kali Yuga (age of sin) in 
stanza V, 2-3, and the coming of the Krta Yuga by 
the Gods themselves entering this way of service, 
and that the world had become actually full of 
those devoted to Vishnu * who dance in joy and 
fling songs of devotion to Him, we seem to feel 
a sort of re-establishment of orthodox worship 
according to the school of Bhakti , the more so 
when he gets to exhort, in stanza 9 following of 
the same section, where he calls upon all to 
come and worship at the shrine of the holy One 

Qutfluu Sptysu) upfSu Qu/flGsruQeuaretrLD 


ibid, V, 2, 3. 

ibid, V, 2, 9. 

Qpirdseuu>ffjr @Lp(T(&<s*r ST/B^LD uffisp&r Q pn car 


tWrf, v, a, 10. 



of the Veda, and save themselves by singing the 
praise of Achyuta without deviating from the 
course of knowledge. When he makes a positive 
statement that the world had got to be full of 
those who worship Him with flowers, incense, 
lamps, unguants and water, those being both 
men in worldly life and those that have 
renounced it alike, he seems almost positively 
to affirm such a reversion to orthodoxy. This 
idea he elaborates somewhat in the following 
stanza where he states that the world is already 
full of not only the Supreme Vishnu (Kannan as 
he is called here), but of the other Grods of 
the Hindu pantheon, and exhorts the devoted 
ones of the earth to offer similar worship to all, 
and get rid of the sinful Kali Yuya. 

One other feature of some importance to us 
for the history of Tirupati is the notion that 
runs through and through, that God is really 
one, and that one is Vishnu in any one of His 
innumerable aspects. Such a notion is scattered 
all through his works, and, in some places, they 
get to be mentioned specifically. The general 
notion is that all things existing of all kinds, 
merely constitute the body, the soul infusing all 
being His self. In expressing this general 
notion, the Alvar sometimes indulges in the 
specific statement that Brahma, Siva, Indra, and 



other Gods of high rank constitute parts of His 
body. iva is generally allotted a place on the 
chest of Vishnu, and Brahina in the navel. 
In this specific statement, he speaks almost 
in the same terms as the earlier Alvars of 
Brahma, Siva and Indra constituting each a 
part of His body, a mere part of His body, much 
as &ri (Lakshmi) is supposed to be, although 
Nammalvar does not come down to the level of 
putting these on a footing with Vishnu's weapons 
like the disc and the conch. * This firm 
conviction, and the description in terms alike, 
have their light to shed upon the controversy 
regarding Tirupati at one time, that the 
representation of the deity in the shrine was 
that of Siva or Skanda-Subrahmanya, and it 
had to be proved that the deity represented 
there is Vishnu and no other. 

ibid, IV, 8, 1. 

ibid, IX, 3, 10. 


The fervour of the Alvar's devotion begins, 
as in ordinary cases, with prayer, intense and 
devoted though that prayer be. From that it 
gradually advances to contemplation, contem- 
plation of the divine in various forms and in 
essence, and ultimately it rises to the pitch of 
being absorbed and attaining to the condition 
of complete similarity, to almost the sameness 
with the deity. When he works up to this 
condition, the Alvar makes it clear by telling us 
that the very poems in which he describes his 
experiences of devotion to God are poems sung 
not by him, but by the God himself within him, * 
as if in His infinite mercy to the struggling soul, 
He infuses his own spirit within the struggling 
individual, and takes it through even composing 

QJ (?<< ftTOJenr LDITLDfTUJear U> fT UJ & < 6$ UJ fT UJ 611 /F^ 7SBT 

VL.&T 36V g} /$63T(7??/f 9f f$ ILUTSUGJOT 6ttT LD GIGS' 

tiLLjG&ir ptiQesrvLJirQ (fienfcuBprrGeor. 

ibid, X, 7, 1. 

67 ear ^ pears srr GjeaBtg&u> 
j/f utrL-.6S)ear seSs<str 

ibid, 5. 
[Compare other stanzas in this Ten as well.] 



and singing His own praise. When this feeling 
settles down in him, he realises he had then 
reached the goal of his ambition, and had 
become one like God himself, always in His 
presence and enjoying His company for food, 
water and the very air for breathing. Coming 
to this mystic position, the Alvar feels he had 
reached the goal of his soul's journey. 

In the course of this discipline, the Alvar 
gives expression to his devotion to God in all his 
innumerable forms, the Vyuhas, the Vibhavas 
and the Archa ; that is, the emanations of God 
for various purposes, His coming down on earth 
in various forms, and the various material forms 
in which He is worshipped by those devoted to 
Him. Naturally therefore, Rama, Krishna, and 
all the well-known Avatars on the one side, and 
the various images which are forms of God 
enshrined in temples alike, come in for their 
share of reference. * The more recondite 
references to the other forms for specific 
purposes are also found, if not with the same 
frequency. Not only these ; but the Alvar does 
actually put himself in all kinds of attitudes 

Ou(uf/f (jptMiqanrL. cujnujrt 

ibid, X, 5, 6. 


known to literature * for^expressing high emotion. 
We may therefore conclude that Nammalvar 
exemplifies par excellence the methods of personal 
devotion to the deity with a view ultimately to 
the attainment of that realisation which is the 
goal of the mysticism of this school of Bhakti. 

$ (TJUUfT fl) 

a, x, T, . 




THE OTHER ALVARS. Passing on from Nammalvar, 
we pass on to the rest of this group, seven 
in number. (1) Madhurakavi, whose work is 
included in the Prabandham, consists of ten 
verses expressing his indebtedness to Nammalvar 
as his Guru (teacher). His personality as such 
therefore gets merged in Nammalvar. Then 
follow the names of (2) Kulasekhara, (3) Periya 
Slvar, though his actual name is Vishnuchitta, 
(4) his foster-daughter S.ndal. The tenth is 
called in Tamil, Tondar Adi Podi 5lvar, or 
in Sanskrit Bhaktangrirenu. Then Tiruppa^ 
Ajvar, called Yogivaha in Sanskrit, and lastly 
Tirumangai llvar. Of these six, Nos. 10 and 
11 may be disposed of at once. No. 10 is 
credited with a hundred and ten verses of 
the Prabandha all devoted to Ranganatha at 
Srirangam. He was born not far from the place, 
but lived all his life and was devoted entirely 
to the deity in that shrine, and no more. The 
next one- Yogivaha also belongs to a similar 
category and , lus devotion is to the temjjle at 
an<J none-alse. The other four have 
, to their credit, and make references 


to Tirupati. The general character of their 
devotion however, was as single-minded as that 
of Nammalvar ; but they have chosen somehow 
or other to exhibit their unalloyed affection 
to Grod, not by adopting the method of Namm- 
alvar exclusively, of that intimate affection 
of the young woman in love pining away for 
the company of her lover. While we cannot 
say that he has altogether no other relationships 
giving rise to similar affection and the pain- 
fulness of the deprivation of that affection, this 
is the form which appealed most in his case. 
But in the case, at any rate of Periya Alvar, 
it is rather the affection of the parent for 
the frolics of the child ; in the case of the 
daughter however, it was the unalloyed love to 
Ranganatha at Srirangam which terminated 
only in her marriage to Him. Periya Alvar, 
however has 473 verses to his credit in the 
first thousand. The first ten of this is in 
glorification and praise of Vishnu in general 
terms. The rest are devoted to the Krish$&- 
vatara of Vishnu and describe, with touching 
affection and fulness of detail, the frolics of 
child Krishna, and Krishna as a young lad still 
engaged in the occupation of his temporary 
-residence, the -cowherd village where h^ was 
.being brought up without his identity being 
known to his. enemy. uncle Kamsa. 




ALVAR. The next following tens are devoted to 
various purposes. Two or three of these give 
expression to the feeling of a love-lorn damsel 
pining away in her love for Krishna, and the 
sorrow of the mother for the daughter who had 
elected to follow the course of her affection 
and abandon herself in favour of the object 
of her love. The last ten of the third section 
and the following tens are in various ways 
intended to exhibit why one ought to devote 
himself to the worship of Vishnu in various of 
His manifestations. This is generally done by 
choosing certain incidents in the life of one or 
other of the many manifestations of Vishnu on 
earth. The tenth ten of the Illrd section is a 
rendering of what Hanuman said to Rama 
to convince him that he had actually seen Sita, 
describing various incidents of his conversation 
with her to confirm the identity. The next 
following sections are devoted to a conversation 
between those that have realised Gk>d and others 
who wished to realise Him. The next three are 
devoted to Tirumalirumsolai and TirukkottiySr 
to enforce the need of devotion to Him. Tlie 
next following ten is instruction to those. in 
worldly life to persuade them into devotion to 



Him. The next ten enforces the necessity 
of naming children after Him, and calling 
them by such names, as one way of reminding 
themselves of His presence. The next three 
are devoted to the holy place of Devaprayaga 
and Srirangam Then follows in the tenth ten 
of section IV, his self-surrender to Q-od while 
yet in active life, so that He may, in the last 
moments of the Alvar's life, receive him into 
His favour. In section V, the Alvar gives 
expression to his feeling that God is, already 
near him, and realises His immanence in Him. 
He discards all those ailments to which human 
beings are heir as having uo more place in 
him, and ultimately gives expression, in the 
last two tens, to his feeling of the immanence 
of Grod in him and of the good that he derived 
from Him. While giving expression therefore 
to the progress of a believing soul's devotion to 
Grod till it realises Grod in him, the ilvar does 
make a number of references to various places 
sacred to Vishnu in which he is particularly 
interested. orlrangam, Tiruinalirumsolai and 
Tirukkottiyur, in addition to his own native 
place, orivilliputtur are his favourite places. 
But there are a few references, two or three 
of them, to Tirupati which he seems to have 
known, at least to have heard of. He has some 
references to places even in the distant north, 



as if to indicate they were places of holy 
reputation to Vishnu, and therefore to be 
cherished by Vaishnavas. 

His section of the Tiruvaymoli specifically 
named Periya Alvar Tirumoli is a very good 
illustration of that section of devotional works in 
which the affection that is shown by the soulful 
devotee to Grod takes that form of affection 
which a mother exhibits to her child in all its 
various frolics of babyhood. In his case, it takes 
the form of the youthful love of Krishna which 
is so beautifully described in the Bhagavata. 
He is certainly not oblivious of the other popular 
manifestations of Vishnu in the form of Rama, 
which also come in for treatment in a consider- 
able part of his work. That is not all. There 
are incidental references to many other of the 
beneficent manifestations of Vishnu in various 
forms, The references to Tirupati or Vengadam 
are so far only two in the 473 stanzas of this 
Ilvar's work. The only historical references 
that we find in his works are a reference in two 
places, Tirupallandu II, and section IV, 4, 8 to 
the Purohita (high priest) of the Pandya monarch 
contemporary with him by name oelvan, who 
had done much for God manifesting Himself in 
Tirukkottiyiir, and had been instrumental in the 
bringing about of the Ilvar's visit to the Pan4ya 



capital. In regard to the Pandyan himself, the 
Ajvar has just two references. The first is in 
IV, 2, 7 to a Nedumaran ruler of Ten-Kudal (the 
southern Kiidal, another name for Madura) 
carrying a death-dealing spear, as being devoted 
to Tirumalirumsolai. We have certainly also 
a specific reference in this Alvar's works to 
the belief * that Rudra, Brahma, and Indra, 
though worshipped as Gods are not capable of 
granting the best of all boons that of getting 
rid of births. 


143 stanzas ascribed to the lady devotee 
generally known by the name Andal or Groda 
(Tarn. Kodai, also periphrastically described 
in Tamil, Sudikkoduttal, one that gave the 
flowers that she herself wore.) She is generally 
described as a foundling child, and therefore 
regarded as an Avatara of Bhumi (Goddess of 
Earth) herself. Periya Alvar picked her up 
from his flower garden, and brought her up as 
his own dear child. He had devoted himself to 
the service of making garlands of flowers and 
presenting them for daily service to the God in 
the temple at Srivilliputtur which was his native 

fS IT LU <$ (8j LD(T$ 15 jff f& GU fT (7$ 
LO g iSl IT GlS S$ IT & 

Periya AlvZr Tirumoli, V, 3, 6. 



place. This daughter of his who had attained to 
the age of discretion, when the father was away 
for his ablutions after making the garlands etc., 
ready, used to take them without being noticed, 
put them on, and look before a mirror just to see 
that they all fitted very well, and then place 
them again as before. This was discovered 
by the father one day, who, in great pain, his 
disgust struggling against the affection for his 
own child, refrained from presenting the flowers 
to the God and remained fasting. God is said to 
have appeared to him in a dream, and asked 
for those very garlands as being particularly 
acceptable to Him after being used by the 
daughter. She grew up a young woman, and 
would not marry anybody else except God 
himself, and had to be, with God's approval, 
taken over to orlrangam and left there in the 
temple. It is said that she was miraculously 
accepted by God and disappeared in His image. 
Miracles apart, her poems give expression to the 
feeling of a damsel grown to the age of discretion 
devoting herself to God Vishnu, we might almost 
say exclusively in the form of Krishna, and 
enjoying herself in the contemplation of various 
of the activities of young Krishna and of the 
manifestations of Vishnu generally. 


first section of her poems consists of 30 stanzas 
and, is devoted to the worship of the image 



of a goddess after early morning bath in the 
first month of the year, Margali (November 
December.) That is devoted to yoiing Krishna. 
The next section of ten is devoted to the worship 
of Kama, the God of Love, in the month of 
January, which young women of marriageable 
age generally perform. In that ten there are 
two references to the God at Tirupati. The next 
four sections are devoted to the mischievous 
frolics of Krishna destroying their houses built 
in sand, and interrupting the girls at play, and 
begging him to give back the garments that he 
had taken away from them while they were at 
bath and carried to the top of a tree, and features 
of that kind. There are two or three references 
to Tirupati in the conventional way in these 
sections. The next following section VI is 
devoted to the details of the ceremony of her 
marriage with Krishna that she herself dreamt 
of. The next ten is devoted to a description of 
the Panchajanya conch that Vishnu carries in His 
left hand as a special feature of His. Section 
V11I is devoted entirely to Tirupati, and each 
stanza in it does mention Tirupati. But the 
references are all of them conventional as already 
stated, and give us no details of a realistic 
character that we find in the Mudal Alvars. 
This nray be explained as being due perhaps to 
her not having visited the place, and referring 



to this as only a distant holy place dedicated 
to Vishnu. The next section is devoted to 
Tirumalirumsolai, and the next ten which 
contains two references to Vengadam, devotes 
itself to the description of a love-lorn damsel 
describing her suffering to her companion. 

The next ten follows almost the same theme, 
but this time it is the mother's sorrow for the 
love-sickness of the daughter. The following 
section in an earnest entreaty by the love-lorn 
damsel to be taken to where Krishna was, and 
the next is a prayer that she might be allowed 
to console herself by contact with the dress, etc., 
worn by Krishna. The last section purports 
to describe her having seen the Supreme One 
in Brindavanam. Here again we see the 
struggle of a loving soul, this time, a young 
lady, making its progress step by step to the 
ultimate realisation of the object of love. Some 
writers and commentators would describe it as 
superhuman (ati-manusha). While the father 
pursues his course like a grown up man of 
mature learning and wisdom, the daughter 
pursues the same course in her own characteristic 
way by dedicating herself to Him in love and 
realising God by that means. The hagiologists 
who have laid themselves out to write the lives 
of these saints locate these two ^Jvars, the 



father and daughter, by giving them a date 
not far remote from the date given to Namm- 
alvar. While the style of the poems ascribed 
to these and the art of the poetry alike may 
support the contention that they could not 
be far removed from Nanimalvar, the details 
that we referred to already to a contemporary 
Pandya monarch woiild seem to indicate that 
these should have lived some time in the seventh 
century. That may be taken to be more or 
less roughly the period during which they 
flourished. That they were father and daughter 
perhaps we can infer from stanza III, 8, 4 * 
where Periya Alvar almost seems to be autobio- 
graphical when he states it that " he was the 
father of an only daughter whom he brought 
up like Lakshmi herself and whom the red-eyed 
Vishnu carried away from him as His own ". 
While this is in keeping with the subject-matter 
and the mode of expression of the ten, which is 
that it is the wailing of the mother whose dear 
daughter had abandoned her and gone away 
with her lover, and comes in naturally there, it 

* 9(75 

Periya Almr Tirumoli, ITI, 8, 4; 


would still bear the inference that the Alvar is 
here perhaps, not altogether unwittingly, giving 
expression to a fact of history ; at any rate, this 
would confirm that Pcriya Alvar and Anda] were 
related in the manner generally described. 

ALVAR KULASEKHARA. The next in point of time 
comes Alvar Kulanekhara, the ruler of the Chera 
country (Cochin and Travancore), and to whom 
the hagiologists ascribe a date almost the same 
as that of Pcriya Alvar, making the two some- 
what older than Nammalvar. But the details 
that we can gather regarding his position among 
South Indian rulers of his time would give clear 
indications of a later date some time in the 7th 
century probably. He has 105 stanzas to his 
credit included in the First Thousand of the 
Prabandha Four Thousand, and this group of ten 
tens goes by the specific name Perumal Tirumoli 
as if to indicate the characteristic title of these 
rulers of the Chera country of the Perumals in 
Kulasekhara Perumal. The collection goes by 
the name Penimal Tirumoli to be in keeping 
more or less with the designations of the other 
sections of this group, namely Periya Alvar 
Tirumoli, and Nacchiyar Tirumoli of the first 
two. The first three sections of the Peruma] 
Tirumoli are devoted to the temple at orlrangam, 
to which Kiilafiekhara was particularly devoted, 



as in fact the other two go there for their 
emancipation. There is nothing in these three 
tens excepting an expression of his extreme 
devotion which finds vent in his longing to be 
there in the temple so that the dust of the feet of 
those who come to worship Ranganatha in the 
temple might fall on him. The first ten is a 
graphic description of the image enshrined in the 
temple. The second expresses the longing to be 
there and enjoy the holy dust from the feet of 
the other devotees, and in the third he describes 
himself as something very distinct from the rest 
of the world in his single-minded devotion to 
Ranganatha. In these three he gives himself 
titles indicative of his position among South 
Indian rulers. In the tenth stanza of the second 
ten, he calls himself ruler of Kolli (Quilon), 
Kudal (Madura) and Koli (Uraiyiir), the Chola 
capital near Trichinopoly, and in stanza 9 of the 
next section he calls himself the ruler of Kongtz.* 

Perumal Tirumo[i^ II, 10. 



Ga(T65T GvQv&z&r Q&KGsresr Qfrreo 

ibid, III, 10. 


Combined this would mean that he was some sort 
of an overlord of all South India, at any rate, 
of Tamil India. The next ten is devoted to 
Tirupati. As in the previous thirty, here again 
he longs to render devoted service at the holy 
shrine in Tirupati, and would rather be any one 
of the things or beings on the hill, the water-bird, 
or fish, or a menial servant in the temple, or the 
Champaka tree, the door-step, or in fact any- 
thing else, and concludes with the determination 
that he would not exchange the lordship of 
the heavenly world for being anything in fact 
on the hill of Tirupati. Although in all the 
eleven stanzas he refers to Tirupati by name, 
he does not give any specific detail, apart from 
natural features, in relation to the God and 
worship in the temple, thus being exactly in 
the position of Nammalvar and Periya Alvar and 
JLndal, and no more. The next ten, the fifth 
ten, is devoted to Vittuvakkodu in Travancore, 
to the God in which he expressed himself com- 
pletely devoted ; and the manner in which he 
gives expression to this single idea is so natural 
and moving. In the first stanza he describes 
himself in attachment to the God much as a baby 
beaten by the mother still returns to her. In 
the next following he likens himself to a good 
wife attaching herself to even a bad husband 
who spurns her, and then again he makes his 



attachment to God that of the loyal subject 
attached to, and dependent upon, the sovereign 
even negligent of his duty of protection. He 
goes on through the ten the same way. The 
last detail referred to above seems almost 
reminiscent of one of the verses in the Kural*. 
The next section is devoted to expressing his 
dissatisfaction at the want of response to his 
fervent prayers. This comes in the form of 
G5pikas blaming Krishna for showing himself 
irresponsive to their appeals. The next ten 
again is one of disappointment where he puts 
himself in the position of Devaki, the mother of 
Krishna, who though she actually did give birth 
to Krishna, was deprived of the enjoyment, 
altogether of the frolics, of the baby. The third 
ten again expresses, as if in contrast to the one 
preceding, Kausalya's enjoyment of tending 
baby Rama. The next one gives expression to 
the bewailing brought about under tragic circum- 
stances of Rama's banishment, and Dasaratha 
bewailing the fate that brought this about. The 
last ten is devoted to the celebration of the deity 
in Chitrakuta (Chidambaram), and this ten 
recounts the story of the Ramayana completely, 
but in an abridged form. Here again, we have 
the same progress in the realisation of the 
faithful devotee who, after many struggles and 

* No. 542. 



disappointments, reaches ultimately to the end 
desired of God-realisation, according to the ideals 
of Vaishnava devotion. All that we learn from 
this Alvar is that Tirupati gets a very high place 
among the holy places of Vishnu, and a royal 
personage such as the ruler of Travancore, would 
in fact aspire to be the very door-step of the holy 
shrine, thus giving indication of the high esteem 
in which the shrine was held as a holy place. 

THE THREE OTHERS. Reverting for a moment 
to the three names, namely, Madhura Kavi, 
Ton^ar Adippodi, and Tiruppan Alvar, the first 
is one whose contribution to the Prabandham 
is only one ten describing his devotion to his 
Guru Satakopa to enforce the doctrine that once 
the really satisfactory teacher is secured, all 
else is secured for the attainment of the highest. 
Ton^ar Adippodi, who has a large number 
of verses, is so entirely devoted to Srlrangam 
that he has practically no room for any direct 
reference to other shrines, as it were. In regard 
to Tiruppan Alvar, however, though he is also 
one who lived all his life not far from Srl- 
rangam in fact he is placed in Uyaiyur not 
far from Srlrangam he has only one ten all 
that he wrote apparently. In that one ten which 
is given entirely to describe the image of 
Ranganatha in the holy shrine at Srlrangam, 



he finds means to refer to Vengadam or Tirupati 
in two places which would indicate the great 
importance attached to the shrine at the time. 
The references, however, arc of a general kind, 
but in both cases, the reference is to the image 
enshrined in Vengadam being that of God 
almost as much as the image enshrined in 


shall now pass on to the Periya Tirumoli and 
other poems of Tirumangai 5.1var. Of these 
latter, two are included in the group Periya 
Tirumoli, namely, Tirukkurum Tandakam, and 
Tirunedum Tandakam, and three others included 
in the lyarpa thousand which forms a separate 
section namely, Tiruvelukkurrirukkai, iriya 
Tirumadal and Periya Tirumadal making a total 
of 1,134 stanzas in all of varying lengths. 
Judging by quantity, his is the largest contri- 
bution to the Prabandha, and this Prabandha 
includes more verses of his than of any other 
Alvar, and the character of the poetry itself 
is much more elaborate in particulars so that 
the orthodox regard his works as a whole, as 
more or less an exposition of that of Nammalvar. 
Tirumangai Al. v ^ r happens to have been born 
in the Tanjore District and came of the Kallar 
community. He was a military man essentially, 



and had, as usual in those days, a small 
civil government under the Cholas, his govern- 
ment lying in the modern Shiyali Taluk. He 
happened to fall in love with a foundling 
daughter of a physician of the locality who had 
no children of his own. She stipulated, as a 
condition of her marriage with him, that he 
should feed 1,008 Brahmans a day for a year 
before she could consent to become his wife. 
He agreed to do that, and had begun to even 
waylay people and commit dacoity upon them 
for the purpose of securing the wherewithal for 
the purpose ; it is said that, in order to exhibit 
His grace to the devotee and reclaim him, 
God Vishnu himself came at the head of a 
bridal party in the garb of one recently married 
with all the wealth and ornaments suitable to 
the occasion. In stripping him of his jewels in 
the course of a dacoity, the Alvar was so 
ihorough-going that he fell prostrate to pull off 
the tightly fitting rings on the toes of the Q-od. 
He got the inspiration immediately and burst 
into song confessing access of devotion to Nara- 
ya$a in complete self-surrender. This constitutes 
the first ten of the thousand ascribed to him. 
Thereafter he devoted himself entirely to 
benefactions to various Vaishnava shrines known 
at the time bath in the south and some few 
elsewhere in the north. His works contain 



references which would lead to the fixing of his 
age than those of any other Alvar, and 
specifically Nammalvar whose work is about as 
much in quantity as that of this Alvar. From 
these references, it is possible to fix his date in 
the reign of the great Pallava ruler Nandivarman, 
whose period would be the whole of the 8th 
century. This is supported by a number of 
historical incidents alluded to in the course of 
this work. He sets about celebrating the 
shrines in the north, Devaprayaga on the 
Himalayas, and comes regularly down through 
Badrinath, for which he devotes two tens, then 
Salagrama, and then the forest ot Naimisa. He 
then conies down to Singavelkunram, as it is 
called, the modern Ahobalam, arid then enters 
the Tamil country. The first shrine that he 
celebrates in this region is Tiruvenga^am, for 
which he gives four of his tens. Before proceed- 
ing to that, we may in passing note that, speaking 
of Ahobalam, he refers to the place as almost 
inaccessible as it may be said to be to some 
extent, even now. In regard to the four tens they 
are professedly celebrating Vishnu as He presents 
himself in Tirupati. But the references are 
more or less of a general and of the ordinary 
Vaishyava religious character. There is one 
reference in stanza 2 of the first ten where the 
God there is referred to as of the white-blue and 



of the saphire blue colour. This is the ordinary 
description of Vishnu as being of the white 
colour in the first Yuga, of golden red in the 
second, saphire blue in the third and dark blue 
in the fourth, thereby making it clear that 
it is a form of Vishnu that is represented 
there. In stanza 5 of the same section, He is 
referred to, among other features, as possessed 
of eight arms, and of being on the Himalayas. 
These two might lead to the inference that 
perhaps it is Siva. But that is negatived 
immediately by the next statement that He is the 
same deity that is on the hill at Tirumalirum- 
solai*. The other references are more or less of a 
general character such as that in stanza 9 of the 
fourth ten where the deity is spoken of as the 
one worshipped by Brahma, Siva and Indra. f 

T6oar en stun ear 

Periya. Tiru. I, 8, 6. 

ibid, II, 1, 9. 


But, in stanza 5 and the next two following two 
stanzas of that section, the Alvar makes a 
reference that his own mind was attracted to the 
religion of the Jains and Buddhists at one time, 
and had then been drawn towards the deity at 
Vengadam. There is nothing however that we 
know of that he was actually a Buddhist or a Jain. 
It may be a mere reference to the vacillation 
of mind amidst the prevalent wordliness. Such 
a reference would warrant the inference that 
Buddhism and Jainism were in his time religions 
which counted a considerable number of votaries 
in this part of the country, The reference 
which one finds in stanza 7 of the ten devoted 
to Tiru-evvulur (modern Tiruvallur) * that Siva 
formed a part of His body, and had his position 
on the right side of His chest, is one among 
many such references scattered throughout the 
work, so that this only confirms what we find in 
the early Alvars describing plainly the features 
of oiva found on the image. The last stanza of 
the ten devoted to Tiruvallikkeni (Triplicane) 
has a historical reference of importance. The 
stanza states clearly that the southern 
Tondaman (Tondaiyar-Kon) king constructed 

ibid, II, 2, 7. 


for the temple the gardens and the rampart 
walls surrounding the tall buildings about the 
temple, the pavilion with it, and so on. This 
would mean in fact that this particular Pallava 
sovereign laid out and constructed the town 
round the temple. Because of a few inscriptions 
in the temple by Vairamegha Pallava one may be 
tempted to infer that this is a reference to that 
great Pallava who was the son of Nandivarman 
Pallava, who, we stated already, was a con- 
temporary of this Alvar. It seems however to 
be a reference to that early Tondaman Chakra- 
varti, so much associated with Tirupati, as the 
author of the laying out of the town and the 
building of the shrine as the early Alvars have a 
great deal to say about this temple. Coming 
down to the eighth ten of the second section 
the Alvar celebrates the Ashtabujam shrine in 
Kanchi. The characteristic feature of the deity 
here is eight hands to which we already made 
reference in regard to Tiruvengadam. Speaking 
of the deity there he makes a specific reference 
to the place as having been worshipped by those 
who sang in &en Tamil (classical Tamil)*. These 




iT Q&rrw 

ibid, II, 8, 2. 

u>0aar eaar&r & p 
iT Quiresr fl^ffirir 


poets of Tamil are interpreted as the early Xlvars, 
Mudal Alvars as they are called, namely, Poygai, 
Bhutam and Pey, as they are said to have 
worshipped here chanting their Tamil poems as 
the Gods themselves worship chanting the Veda. 
It is in the concluding stanza of this ten that 
there is a reference to a Vairamegha who seems 
to be Dantidurga Vairamegha the founder of the 
Rashtrakuta empire, who was in alliance with 
the reigning Pallava Nandivarman *. Passing 
down we come to Chidambaram, for which he 
devotes two tens. For our purposes there are 
only two references in the first ten. The shrine 
of Grovindaraja is said in the first, stanza 3, to 
have been worshipped by the Pallava king which 
may i*efer either to Nandivarman or his father 
who was in government in the locality, according 
to the Vaikunthaperumal .inscription, wherefrom 
Nandivarman himself came to Kanchi as king 
by the nomination of the people. In the following 
stanza is the interesting reference that the deity 
which lay abed in the great dark sea was abed 
in this temple, on the couch formed by the great 

*coreofl near u>iru>J8&r ID/BOO* Q&Rfeo 
&earfl <$**& 
i> Qffr&xre 

ibid, II, 8, 10. 



snake with split tongue*. It is in identical terms 
that the Chola Kulottunga II is said to have 
referred to this deity when he ordered the 
removal of the shrine and the deity along with 
it. The ten devoted to Shiyali, ri Rama 
Vin^agar, according to the Vaishnavas, there is 
an explicit reference to Siva forming the right 
side of His body, Brahma being in the navel, 
Lakshmi on His chest almost exactly in the form 
in which they are described by the early Alvarsf. 

/F/TUDLD L$0pfS 

ibid, III, 2, 4. 

LD ear ear 

Kulottunga Chd{an Ula. 

((pear eafl p) &L-e$GV gpg^G&fifi Qfcbreufl. 

Rajarajan Ufa. 

&6ifluiTu) QJUUCD 
9ffiru> eSostxmsGn- Q&rri&ef 

ibid, in, 4, 9. 



The concluding stanza refers to Him in all his 
titles, as if he were roaring them out in victory, 
as against some opponents who called in question 
his claim to the titles, and there is an interesting 
reference to the work being in Sangam Tamil. 
It is in this place that he is traditionally said to 
have had a controversy with Tirngranasamban- 
dar, although there are difficulties in the way of 
accepting it as a fact of history. In the fourth 
division, the first ten, the people of Nangai 
(Tirunangur) are spoken of as those who defeated 
the king who attacked them in full force. We 
shall come to this again when we make a fuller 
reference to this particular. There is a reference 
in stanza 8 of section 3 of this part to Venga^am 
where the God on the hill is spoken of as the 
very lamp of the Veda. In stanza 6 of the fifth 
ten, * the people of Nangiir are said to have put 
to flight the Pandya (Teiman) and the northern 
king (Vada Arasu) which could only mean the 
Pandya and the Pallava in alliance ; and this 
alliance and the war had taken place just about 
the time or somewhat earlier, and took place 
in the Kaveri region between the Chalukyas 

ibid, IV, 5, 6. 


and the Pallavas. The first stanza of the 
seventh ten has a reference again to this feature 
of the people of Nangur in a more general way. 
Stanza 5 again makes a reference to God at 
Vengadam as a lamp on the hill. 

In section IV, the ninth ten, there is a 
reference in stanza 8, setting forth clearly the 
four colours that Vishnu assumed in the four 
great periods of time. In section V, third ten 
there is a reference to the God at Tiruvenga^am 
as Krishna who assisted the Pandavas, and in 
the fifth ten of the same section, the very first 
stanza mentions Vengadam, although the section 
itself is in celebration of Srirangam. In the 
next following section there is a reference to 
God as Vadamalai, which may be taken as 
referring to Vengadam. In the same section 
relating to Srirangam, stanza 9 of the eighth 
ten has a reference to God teaching the secret 
Mantra of the worship of Vishnu to the Toi$ a - 
roan, apparently in reference to what took place 
between Toijdaman Chakravarti * and the God 

brp/f. ILJff&IT 

v, 8, 0. 



in Venga^am. In the tenth ten of the same 
section, stanza 7 there is a reference to Nandi- 
pura Vinnagaram (Nadankovil), a short distance 
from Kumbhakonam, where the holy place is 
referred to as the one that received services in 
dedication to the temple of a certain Nandi. 
The historical reference is held to refer to the 
great Nandivarinan 11, the Pallava king. The 
sixth ten of the sixth section is in celebration 
of Tirunariyur, and makes a reference in each 
stanza to a Chola King Ko-oengan, and of his 
achievements including the construction of 70 
temples to Siva for worship. He is included 
among the Nayanars of the Saivas, but the 
reference here is that, after having done so 
much to earn the grace of Siva, he felt the 
need for an appeal to Vishnu and rendered 
similar service to Vishnu. It looks however as 
though he was a king, like many other Hindu 
kings, who had made his benefactions to both 
alike. There is an interesting reference in 
stanza 5 of the same section where the king is 
spoken of as of the Tamil land in the south, and 
also as the king of the north, whatever this 
latter might mean at the time, unless it be the 
Pallava country. There is another reference 
to Vengadam in section VIII, stanza I, third 
ten, and in stanza 5, section VII. VII, 10, i 
contains an interesting reference to the deity at 


Tirukkovilur, and his act of grace in connection 
with the first Alvars. In VIII, 1 he addresses 
the Vishnu at Kannapuram as one having eight 
arms. In the next section, stanza 3 has a 
simple reference to Vengadam. IX, 2, 5 has a 
reference to Koli and Kudal, the capitals 
respectively of the Chola and Pandya in 
reference to the manifestation of Vishnu in other 
places as Krishna. IX, 6, 1 has an expressive 
reference to Siva forming part of Vishnu. The 
same section, IX, 7, 4 has a simple reference to 
Vengadam, and stanza 9 to the false teaching 
of the Jains and the Buddhists. IX, 8, 9 has 
a similar reference. IX, 9, 9 has a simple 
reference to Vengadam. IX, 10, 4 states clearly 
that Vishnu allotted a part of His body 
on the right side, to Ia who rides a bull and 
holds Malu or &akti*. In X, 1, 2 there is a clear 
reference to Vengadam. In section X, 6, 1 
celebrating Krishna Avatara, there is a statement 


x Q&rrQp p 
arusuD LDGve 
O surruj UD<5(3>LD 

ibid, IX, 10, 4. 

ibid, X, 9, 4. 


that Vishnu gave to the world a treatise on 
Dharma assuming the form of Nara-Narayana. 
This is obviously a reference to the gift of the 
Pancharatra *. X, 9, 4 has a reference to iva 
forming part almost like the one above. XI, 
5, 10 has a simple reference to Vengadam. That 
takes us through the Periya Tirumoli proper. 


to the miscellaneous poems Tirunedum Tanda- 
kam, section 2 contains a reference to the 
various colours assumed by Vishnu. Stanza 
9 refers to iva forming part of Vishnu. Stanza 
16 has a reference to Vengadam, and there is one 
reference each to Vengadam in the Siriya 
Tirumadal and Periya Tirumadal. In the latter 
work, couplet 122 contains perhaps a more 
explicit reference to the part played by God in 
Tirukkovilur in connection with the Mudal 
Alvars. In couplet 131 God himself is addressed 


ibid, X, 6, 1. 


as the Four Vedas, a& the Tamil of the Southern 
Pandya, as the speech of the North. From 
these references considered in detail, we see 
Tirumangai Alvar following the tradition of the 
other Alvars, and exhibiting himself as belonging 
intimately to the same school of thought. What 
is really to our purpose for the history of 
Tirupati is that he makes a dozen simple 
references to God at Vengadam in his address 
to the representation of God in well-known 
Vaishnava shrines of the South, having no doubt 
as it were that the shrine in Tirupati was to him 
a Vishnu shrine and nothing else. He also 
brings out clearly the features that Siva formed 
a part of His body, and, as such, the feature 
discussed so elaborately by the Mudal Alvars of 
Vishnu, was a thing well-known even in the days 
of Tirumangai Alvar. We may now therefore 
conclude that, to the Alvars whose period of life 
may be held to extend from the Sangam period 
in the third century after Christ the latest to 
the eighth century when Tirumangai Alvar 
flourished, there has been a continuous tradition 
that the shrine in Venga<j.ani was a shrine 
dedicated to Vishnu. 




Vaish^ava tradition is consistent that, notwith- 
standing some features which may admit of a 
suspicion, the deity in Vengadam was Vishnu, 
we have other evidence of a secular character, 
which would support this. We made reference 
already to the early poet Mamulanar of the 
oangam age who refers to Tirupati as a place 
which had attained to fame " for its festive 
celebrations during the year ". A reference 
similar to that we find in respect of Kanchi in 
the age of Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan clearly 
establishing that temples or shrines of worship 
dedicated to Vishnu were not only known, but 
that festive celebrations associated with such 
shrines as in modern times, were, at least some 
of them, already prevalent. We next indicated 
that the Buddhist work ilappadhikaram, the 
author of which Ilango Adigal was probably a 
Buddhist, refers in unmistakable terms to the 
shrine in Tirupati as a shrine holy to Vishnu. 
Four Vishnu shrines find reference in the work 



ilappadhikaram and spoken of with respect 
almost bordering on devotion by this author, 
an alien to the faith of the Vaishnavas. These 
are the holy shrines in Tiruvanantapuram, 
(Trivandrum), Tinimalirumsolai, orirangam and 
Tirupati. Of these the latter three are regarded 
as of peculiarly holy reputation to the individual 
pilgrim concerned, who was a native of the 
Malabar country belonging to a village Manga^u 
to whom the deity at Trivandrum would be more 
or less his own. He is made to say that he was 
on a pilgrimage to the famous shrines of South 
India, outside of his native country, and these 
three find mention in this connection. The poet 
takes occasion to describe the God in Vengadam 
in graphic terms, which leaves no doubt whatso- 
ever that the deity according to him was Vishnu 
in full form. For another secular literary 
reference, we may come down to the reign of 
Nandivarman III, Nandivarman of Tellaru as he 
is called, in whose reign the Bharatavenba was 
composed by its author Perundevanar. This 
Perundevanar has a reference to Venga<Jam * as 

Quueisr gu 

Bhftrata Veybft Bhlshma Parva : 

First Day's War, Stanza 1. 



a Vaishiiava shrine coupling it with Attiyur 
(Vishnu-Kanchi), where perhaps the author 
actually lived. The earliest known inscription 
in Tirupati is that of a predecessor of this Nandi- 
varman of Tellaru, Danti Vikramavarman. 
Therefore then we have references throughout 
the centuries to the shrine in Vengadam as a 
Vishnu shrine before we come to the evidence 
of the inscriptions. 

ALVARS. We have so far covered the history of 
the shrine at Tirupati ever since its foundation 
down to the beginning of the 10th century 
almost. We noticed that all the Puranas together 
uniformly make out that the temple is, in its 
origin, what is called a holy place self-create 
(svaymbhu), that is, it is not a human foundation 
to begin with. All of them agree similarly 
that the human founder of the temple, apart 
from an individual devotee, was a Toijdaman 
ruler of the locality who had his capital near 
Vengadam and ruled over the tract of country 
surrounding it. They also furnish us the infor- 
mation that the period during which he flourished 
and thus rendered the pious service to Vishnu, 
was the early centuries of the Christian era, 
in fact, specifically the period between the 
foundation of the Samvat era of Vikramaditya 
and that of the Saka, that is, between the years 



67 B. C., and 78 A. D. Whether we accept this 
precise dating or not, we may take it that the 
foundation of the temple as a human institution 
may be ascribed to the first century of the 
Christian era. From that period on we have 
come down eight clear centuries noting down 
what we can glean of the history of the temple 
from literary sources alone. The period actually 
covered relates historically to the period of 
the three kingdoms of the South, which may 
be held more or less roughly to correspond 
to the oangam age so-called, followed by 
that of the early Pallava kings of the Prakrit 
charters. This is followed by a period of rule 
of Pallava kings of the early dynasty which 
issued the few charters that its members did, in 
Sanskrit. The period of rule of this dynasty 
may be counted as from the beginning of the 
4th century down to the latter part of the 6th 
century A. D. With the middle of the 6th 
century we come to the historical period, ordina- 
rily described as the age of the great Pallavas 
of Kanchi. This dynasty ruled from the latter 
half of the 6th century down to Aparajita Pallava 
who was overthrown and Pallava domination 
extinguished almost at the end of the 9th 
century. In regard to this period, inscriptional 
records are comparatively few, and therefore 
the historical material generally available to us 



for later periods is not available to us for this 
period. Not that inscriptions were unknown, 
but it had not become the fashion to issue these 
inscriptions in the elaborate form and the large 
number in which they got to be issued in the 
periods of history following that with which we 
are at present concerned. But even so, there 
is reference to a Vishnu shrine dedicated to 
Vishnu-Narayana in one of the Prakrit charters 
which refers to a donation to the temple by 
a very early Pallava Queen, Charudevi. * 
Similar references to donations to Vishnu shrines 
we have even among the Pallavas of the early 
Sanskrit charters. But the founder of the later 
dynasty Siinha Vishnu is definitely spoken of, in 
the later inscriptions, as a Vaishnava devoted to 
the worship of Vishnu specifically, and, among the 
rulers of this dynasty that succeeded him, there 
were some undoubtedly who made donations 
to temples of Vishnu and otherwise contributed 
largely to the promotion of Vishnu worship, 
particularly the great Nandivarman II, Pallava- 
rnalla. There are inscriptions of his son 
Dantivarman in the Vishnu temple at Triplicane.f 
But there is no record of any of the kings before 
this one, having had anything to do with the 

* Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VIII, 143. 
^Epigraphia Indica, VIII, 291 (No. 29.) 



temple at Tirupati, notwithstanding the fact that 
the temple itself was known popularly and was 
regarded as a holy place of eminence from the 
other evidence that we have so far considered. 
It would ordinarily be considered strange that, 
being as it is within the territory of the Pallavas 
and given the name to what may be regarded 
as one of the main divisions of the Tonda- 
mandalam, the territory prominently of the 
Pallavas, it should find no mention. This is 
perhaps due to the fact that the habit of making 
donations to temples and recording them in 
grants had not been adopted as a general 
practice in those days. In fact, this seems to 
have been set in full form by the great Chola 
Rajaraja, and before him, inscriptions are only 
occasional and have reference more or less to 
incidents which are referred to in a more or less 
unconnected form and not set in formal 
documents as in the periods following. There is 
also the additional circumstance that the shrine 
in Vengadam was in a comparatively inaccessible 
locality very difficult of approach generally, 
and therefore not perhaps quite as popular as 
other places. From this silence it should not 
be argued that either temples to Vishnu did 
not exist, or that temple worship was not the 



Tamil grammar Tolkappiyam, the earliest 
grammar extant and an authoritative classic on 
the subject, has an interesting reference in Sutra 
5 of the section on Ahaitinai in Porul Adhikaram, 
which makes four Gods as the recognised deities 
of the Tamil land. * The matter has reference 
to the division of land composing the country 
generally. The section on Porul as it is called, 
Sanskrit Artha, refers to the norms of life, 
dealing as it does, with one, perhaps in general 
point of view the most important one, on wordly 
life, and, in trying to lay down the norms, the 
work begins with a division of land which may 
be regarded as naturally divisible into four ; 
forest land, presided over by Krishna- Vishnu 
(Mayon), hilly parts presided over by Kumara or 
Subrahmanya, Tamil Muruga (Seyon), then 
well-watered agricultural land, presided over by 
the king (Indra) ; and lastly coast land of sand 
presided over by Varuna (God of the Sea). It 
will be noticed that the names given leave it 
in no doubt what Gods are intended. The 


sr (oLoujQu@u)eodr gyms 

Tolkappiyam Porul, Aham 5, 


ascription here of particular kinds of land as 
being presided over by particular deities seems 
to be analogous to the Yajur Veda, * which 
goes farther and gives a far larger list of all 
things making Vishnu the presiding deity over 
hills generally. But the Tamils generally 
divided the land only into four classes as above, 
adding a fifth, desert land, which however was 
regarded not as a separate class of land, but 
merely as one or the other of the former ones 
transformed, owing to a change of climatic 
conditions. Therefore then it is clear that 
Vishnu as a deity is as old as the Tamil 

This reference so far is merely to the names 
of the Gods, and all that is said of them is that 
they are presiding deities over particular classes 
of land. No further information, however, is 
given about them. In poem 56 of Purananuru, 
however, we seem to get information of a diffe- 
rent character. This is a poem by Nakklrar 
celebrating a Pandya who died in ' a garden 
pavilion ' as he is described. He is likened here 
to the four principal Gods in the various qualities 
he was possessed of, and the four Gods tinder 
reference are oiva, Balabhadra or Balarama, 
as he is called, Krishna-Vishnu and Kumara 

* Krishna Yajur Samhita, K&ruja, III, Praina 4. 



Subrahmanya*. TheMominent quality of each of 
these Gods who are said to be above .time, the 
ruler is credited with being in possession of. 
He is likened to the first one, who is here 
described as Death (God of Destruction) in anger. 
He is said to resemble the second in strength, 
the third in fame and the fourth in successfiil 
accomplishment. Though this is merely a 
reference for a poetical purpose, the features 
given of these Gods exhibit a considerable 
agreement to references in classical Tamil 
literature thereby giving us to understand without 
doubt, that these were Gods recognised in the 
Tamil land as the supreme deities deserving of 
worship. The first one is described as having a 
bull for his vehicle and matted locks of hair, the 
irresistible trident and blue throat, unmistakably 
a reference to Siva. The second one is described 
as of the colour of the conch coming out of the 
sea, carrying the warlike weapon, the plough, 
and having on his flag a palm tree for his ensign, 


cSesor aopiujfr niL.Qsfny.e8 pev Q^mL 

i, Qioear 

j sir &((& 


Puram, 56. 



undoubtedly a reference to Baladeva, the elder 
brother of Krishna. The third one is similarly 
described as of the colour of the blue saphire 
well washed, whose flag carried the ensign of 
Graruija and possessed of great valour. The 
fourth is described as carrying on the flag the 
ensign of the peacock, as uniformly victorious, 
riding on the peacock for a vehicle and of a 
red colour. These are described in the next 
following lines as deities protecting the earth and 
as being above time. We see therefore that, in 
the particular period to which this has reference, 
Krishna- Vishnu and his elder brother Baladeva 
were known as the ruling deities of the universe 
along with the two others. The reference to 
Krishna-Vishnu and Baladeva as it occurs here 
is just exactly how it occurs elsewhere in Tamil 
literature as we shall notice, as well as in the 
iiiscriptional literature of the centuries immedi- 
ately preceding the Christian era in the Deccan 
and Central India, and perhaps even elsewhere. 
These two are two among the four vyuhas of 
Vishnu according to the school of Pancharatra 
and form the basis of the Bhakti school of 
thought. Nakkirar's reference however is again 
a reference merely to the Gods as such and 
some of their features, but does not give us any 
detail as to the Vishnu temples or places of 



FESTIVALS, ETC. The Silappadhikaram however, 
provides us with two references which take us 
much further in regard to these Grods as being 
among those worshipped in temples. They are 
said to be the principal deities to whom temples 
were built along with a number of others 
regarded as of comparatively inferior standing 
both in the Chola capital of Kaverippumpattinam 
and in Madura, the Pandya capital. The 
first reference is in Book V, lines 169-172, in 
connection with the celebration of the great 
festival to Indra, and temples to these are 
mentioned as having their own festivals in 
connection therewith. * The first of course is 
a reference to a temple of the great one not 
having birth (iva). The next one is the 
temple to the red one with six faces (Kumara- 
Subrahmanya). The next one is that to the 
white one, whose body is of the colour of the 
conch (Baladeva), and the next one is the 
temple of the great one of the colour of saphire- 
blue (Krishna- Vishnu). These are stated in so 

u Qu/flGWear 
iGsiJ0tr6BBfl $& 
&JITGU suVeirQiLeafi ^rreSIQiurrear 

SilappadhikSram, V, 179, 183. 


many words to be housed in temples, and 
worshipped accordingly with periodical festivals 
as well. Similarly in Book XIV, lines 7 to 
10 ; here again as day broke in Madura, the 
morning band announced the break of day in 
the following temples. The first is the great 
temple to the Great One " with an eye in the 
face. " The next one is the temple to the Great 
One who had the Garuda bird for his flag. The 
next one was again the temple wherein was 
housed the white God carrying the plough in 
his right hand, and the last one was the temple 
sacred to the God with " the ensign of a cock.* " 
Here we see that these Gods were housed in 
temples with organised worship and festivals as 
they do obtain in these days. It would not seem 
therefore anything extraordinary if in that early 
period a ruler up-country like the Tondaman 
had come upon the image of a God at Vengadam, 
felt it necessary to enshrine the image in a temple 
and arrange for its worship. 

already noted the reference in the Silappadhi- 
karam to the temple at Tirupati itself, wherein 




ibid, XIV, 7, 10. 





the author gives a graphic description of the 
Vishnu image there. This reference to Vishnu 
in Tirupati comes as the account of a pilgrim 
from the Malabar country going on a pilgrimage 
to the most holy Vishnu shrines in South India, 
among which he mentions the shrines in 
Tirumalirumsolai, Srirangam and Tirupati. He 
also states, in the course of this narration, that 
he came from a village, Mangadu, in the west 
country, and, being a devotee of Padmanabha 
there, he says, that his anxiety to visit the 
shrines of great reputation, such as the three 
mentioned before, drew him on, and that he 
undertook the pilgrimage in consequence thereof. 
This statement and the manner in which the 
reference is made by the author to it, would 
alike make it clear that temples dedicated to 
Vishnu were already well-known, and in great 
repute as holy places justifying pilgrimages 
being undertaken, and pilgrims from even distant 
countries made it a point to visit these places as 
part of their pious duty in life. Notwithstanding 
doubts expressed in certain quarters, there is 
nothing seriously to call into question the early 
age of the work, and it must be held to belong, 
by its character, to the same class as the Sangam 
works, whatever be its actual precise date. This 
work certainly has a direct bearing upon the 
history of this Tirupati hill by its specific 



reference to the shrine there ; but the sister work 
Manimekhalai does contain several references to 
the worship of Krishna-Vishnu and Baladeva in 
the course of it. These references read in the light 
of the poems devoted to Vishnu in the Paripadal, 
of which there are just five, not only show that 
the worship of Krishna- Vishnu and Baladeva 
were widely prevalent and popular, but also that 
the Tamils were familiar with the whole theory of 
the Pancharatra Agama, devoted to the worship of 
Vishnu-Vasudeva and his four vyuhas of which 
these two form the first pair, the other two being 
Pradhyumna and Aniruddha.* It is matter for 
satisfaction that in these poems we get a refe- 
rence to the Vishnu shrine in Tirumalirumsolai 
specifically. We see therefore that, in the period 
broadly to be described as the angam age, 
namely, the first three centuries of the Christian 
era, Vishnu worship had already attained to a 
wide popularity. Temples to Vishnu were well- 
known, and a feature of the capital cities of the 
Tamil land. The most popular forms of Vishnu 
worshipped in these temples were Krishna- Vishnu 
and Baladeva, the Agamaic names Vasudeva and 
Sankarshana, not being unknown. That is not 


Paripadal III, 11. 8283. 
[This poem gives in summary the Pftncharfltra.] 



all. On the evidence of the Paripadal it can also 
be safely asserted that all the essential features 
of the Pancharatra were already known in the 
Tamil land, and, not merely known, but had also 
attained to considerable vogue in practice. We 
see therefore Bhakti we are concerned here 
only with Vishnu Bhakti in the most developed 
form already prevalent in this part of the country. 

We have already indicated rather more 
elaborately than otherwise, that, in the age of 
the Alvars, which may be held to extend from 
the 3rd century A. D. 1o the 9th century almost, 
the Bhakti school of Vaishnavism had attained 
to wide acceptance and even to considerable 
importance. At the end of this period, we 
could say definitely the worship of Vishnu 
on the Pancharatra system had become a well 
recognised form of Bhakti, and constituted, if 
not the one system of Bhakti worship, at least a 
prominent one. It is just about this age, that 
we come upon the beginning of inscriptioiial 
records relating to Vengadam, although as we 
have pointed out already, inscriptions found in 
relation to temples were already centuries old. 
In this position, and with such a volume of 
evidence before us, it would be carrying scepti- 
cism too far to deny the existence of a temple in 
Vengadam, notwithstanding the fact that we 
have not come upon any inscriptions relating 
to the temple. 




age of the inscriptions, Vengadam is generally 

described as belonging to Tiruvengadakkottam 

of the Tondamandalam. Tondamandalam has 

to be understood as either the country of the 

Tondaiyar the people, or the territory under .the 

rule of the Tondamaii ruler. On the analogy 

of Tamil names however, Tondamaii would be 

nothing more than the chief of the Tondaiyar. 

We have therefore to take it that the territorial 

name is derived from the people who occupied 

the territory. In classical Tamil literature, 

however, the division called Tondamandalam is 

described generally as Aruvanadu indicating 

Tondamandalam proper ; and the country beyond 

and still dependent upon Tondamandalam and 

having intimate connection with it, is described 

as Aruvavadatalai, that is, northern Aruva. 

Taking the two together the whole territory 

would be territory occupied by the people known 

as Aruvalar, made up of Aruva and A\ar, people 

to whom belongs the Aruvanadu. Therefore the 

whole territory included in Toudamandalam of 

which Vengadakkottam is a part was occupied 



by a distinct class of people and took its name 
from them. Where therefore the Pattinappalai, 
celebrating the great Chola ruler Karikala, 
speaks of him as a prince from whom the old 
AruwHar people took commands, would mean 
that he had subjugated these people and brought 
them under his authority ; that is, Tonda- 
mandalam had been brought under Chola 
authority in the days of Karikala. It was 
nevertheless territory far away from the head- 
quarters, and therefore likely to throw off the 
yoke of the central authority at the earliest 
opportunity. In the period of decline of the 
Chola power two generations after Karikala, 
Tondamandalam broke away from the Chola 
country and relapsed into its old condition in 
which it was a territory under tribal organisation 
and government. From the earliest times of 
which we have any information, this territory 
is said traditionally to have been divided into 
24 divisions, called here Ko$tams, each one of 
which was dominated by a fortress from which 
the governors governed in a sort of military 
government, and to which the people retired on 
occasions of danger. Twenty-four such forts 
are mentioned as belonging to this division, 
and there were 24 divisions under separate 
tribal chieftains. Tiruvengadakkottam forms one 
such division. Ordinarily these divisions were 



brought under a central authority of some kind, 
which dominated the whole region. Within 
historical times that central authority happened 
to be located in Kanchi, and hence we have 
come to regard more or less Kanchi as the 
headquarters of the Tondamandalam. According 
to tradition, however, there seems to have 
been a period when it was not Kanchi, but a 
fortified town called Pulal now a village on 
the borderland of the Red-Hills Tank, which 
itself is known among the people as Pulaleri. 
Whether it was actually so or not, we have 
information of Kanchi as a town of very con- 
siderable importance even in the days of the 
grammarian Patanjali about the middle of the 
2nd century B. C. Kanchi dominated the 
division under the Cholas, and probably continu- 
ed ever since to dominate the region, so that 
now Tondamandalam generally is understood to 
have been dominated by Kanchi, and Kanchi 
and Tondamandalam are treated as more or less 
interchangeable terms politically. 


A TONDAMAN CHIEF. This Tiruvengadakkottam 
dominated by the hill Tiruvengadam from which 
it takes its name was regarded as of four 
divisions named after Chittoor, Chandragiri, 
Tiruchanur and Kalahasti. This gives us an 
idea of the extent of the division, and the 



territory iucluded in it must have been one of 
the oldest divisions of the Tondamandalam. 
Under the original organisation of the land, 
each of these Kottams must have been dominated 
by a fortress. The chieftain who governed the 
locality, or the tribal chieftain, would naturally 
go by the name Raja, although Tamil literature 
later on does make a division of rulers into 
classes and calls these people smaller kings 
(Kuru-nila-mannar), in contradistinction to the 
crowned kings of the three vast kingdoms of the 
south, namely, Chola, Pandya and Chera. It 
would be nothing surprising if these chieftains 
were ruling over one part or other of the 
Toijdamandalam. We have already noticed that 
the image at Tirupati was actually dug out of 
the earth by the Tondaman chieftain, ruler of 
Narayanavanam not far from the locality, and 
enshrined it in the temple. He is also said to 
have been the organiser of worship there. It 
seems not unlikely, and the Puranic story is 
probably based on a foundation of fact so far as 
this particular goes. But the Puranic datum in 
regard to date would make his time the first 
century, A. D. or B. C. Again that period does 
not seem unlikely either, as we know this was 
an ancient division of the land, and its ancient 
organisation continued in historical times. There- 
fore then the foundation of the temple on the 



hill must have been at the very beginning of the 
Christian era, and under the native ruling chief 
who went by the name Tondaman. 


AND PALLAVAS. The political changes that came 
over this region seem to have been somewhat as 
follows. The petty chieftains of the illcultured 
regions dominated by particular forts seem 
gradually to have been brought under one 
central control, and that controlling authority 
seems to have held rule at Kanchi. In the 
oangam literature we know of two Tiraiyans, 
the elder Tiraiyan holding rule in the north at 
Pavattiri, Reddipalem in the Griidur Taluq, and 
the younger, or llam Tiraiyan, ruling over 
Kanchi. This reduction of the whole territory 
to subordination to Kanchi probably was the 
result it may be of the Chola conquest, or 
it might have come about even previously. 
We have good reasons for assuming a Chola 
viceroyalty earlier, and that Toi^aman llam 
Tiraiyan we have good reasons for assuming 
was likewise a Chola viceroy. It is in connec- 
tion with him that the story is told that he was 
the son of a Chola ruler by a Naga princess. 
Almost the same story is told of Toijdaman of 
Vengadam that he was the son of a Choja ruler 
by a Naga princess. As this story of the birth 
of IJam Tiraiyan is recorded by NacchinSrk- 



kiniyar, the commentator, the place where this 
liaison took place is supposed to be Nagap- 
pattinam, hitherto taken to be the Negapatam 
in the Tanjore District. It might just as well 
be the town, or the capital city, of the Nagas. 
Whatever that be, we have no satisfactory 
grounds for identifying this early Tondaman, 
the founder of the temple at Tirupati, with 
Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan, who seems to have 
come later in point of time. We see therefore 
already that the early Tondaman who con- 
structed the temple for Venkatesa at Vengadam 
and arranged for the festivals and the worship 
in the temple, must have been a Tondaman 
chieftain of Tiruvengadakkottam and the localities 
near about ; and this is supported by the fact 
that Mamulanar could speak of the celebration 
of festivals in Tirupati. This must have been 
even earlier than the bringing of all Tonda- 
mandalam under one authority that central 
authority being placed at Kanchi. We have 
therefore to take it that Tondamandalam was 
one ethnical unit ; but consisted of a certain 
number of chieftaincies, whether it be actually 
24 or not, and had been gradually politically 
united to be regarded as one kingdom under 
the rule of the chieftain at Kanchi. That ife 
the stage in which we find it under Tondaman 
I}am Tiraiyan, and the opening period of the 



inscriptions when the authority of the Andhra 
dynasty was still in full force. We see one or 
two 5>ndhra governors in the locality probably 
coming after the Tondamandalam had been 
unified as stated above. This unification 
followed perhaps the Chola conquest involving 
as a consequence, the systematic introduction 
of agriculture and of an agricultural civilisa- 
tion consequent thereon. Just about this time, 
we have inscriptional evidence for a line of 
rulers, who may be father and son, and perhaps 
the second came two generations after the first. 
The first of these rulers is credited with having 
carried out a policy of promotion of agriculture 
by the gift of the means of agriculture, plough- 
oxen, and ploughs themselves together with 
money. The son seems to have followed in the 
same course, and was probably the acknowledged 
ruler of the whole region. It is an inscription 
of his daughter-in-law Charudevi which records 
a gift to the temple of Vishnu-Narayana, thereby 
putting it beyond a doubt that temples to Vishnu 
were in existence, and worship of Vishnu in 
temples was not unknown. If Charudevi could 
do it, be it remembered that she did not build 
the temple but merely made a grant to an 
existing one, what is there to prevent another 
ruler who may have been previous to her by a 
few generations having constructed a temple 



and arranged for worship and the conducting of 
festivals through the year ? With the appearance 
of these we seem to arrive at the establishment 
of Pallava rule in Kaiichi, and of Pallava 
dominence in Tondamandalam. Of course, when 
well established the Pallavas also called them- 
selves Tondamans, and kings of Tondaiyar 
(Tondaiyarkon) and so on. This could be 
explained by the fact that, having succeeded to 
the rule of the country of the Tondaiyar, 
Tondamandalam, they could very well describe 
themselves as Tondamans. Whether the term 
Pallava actually took its origin from the Tondai 
creeper with which, according to the story, the 
Tondaman prince born to the Naga Princess by 
the Chola king, was decorated was what gave 
the name, is perhaps more than we can say 
definitely although some of the early inscriptions 
would give that explanation. Be that as it may, 
we find Pallava rule beginning betimes, almost 
immediately after the rule of Toridaman Ilam 
Tiraiyan, and we could mark three separate^ 
groups of rulers, as indicated before, from that 
period down to the later years of the 6th century. 
The point for consideration at present is why 
these rulers who have left some inscripti 
records of their own in various other 
have left none in the shrine of 
We cannot say exactly why. Tiru 



have been in the age of the Pallavas as 
inaccessible as in the earlier, and even down 
to the much later period of the Cholas, and 
the practice of recording in inscriptions gifts 
to temples had not become so much a vogue 
as yet. That seems to be enough explanation, 
and, at any rate, that is all that we are in a 
position to offer. The absence of inscriptions 
therefore cannot be held as an argument 
against the existence of the temple itself. The 
temple may have existed without as yet having 
become sufficiently important, or sufficiently 
popular to merit that recording, and, as we 
have stated already, that way of recording itself 
has been comparatively rare in these early 
days. When we come to the great Pallava 
dynasty, we are able to see that temple worship 
had become popular and a well recognised institu- 
tion. Numbers of temples both to Vishnu and iSiva 
and to many other gods of the Hindu Pantheon do 
find mention in the Pallava territory. We find 
the statue of Simhavishnu and his queens, and 
his son Mahendravarman and his queens in the 
Varaha cave in Mahabalipuram, and, in all 
probability, the Vishnu shrine in the locality 
perhaps already in existence, not in the 
of the present temple, but perhaps in the 
of a smaller shrine. It is the great 
Narasimhavarman that attempted the laying out 



and beautification of the city which perhaps 
was not carried to completion because of a 
political revolution. The great Nandivarman 
Pallavamalla was the builder of a great temple 
to Vishnu in Conjeevaram itself, and his son has 
left records of his benefactions to the temple at 
Triplicane and at Tirupati. Nandivarman of 
Tellayu, his grandson was the parton of 
Perundevanar, whose work Bharatavenba, we 
already mentioned, makes prominent mention 
of Vengadam and Kanchi. So before we come 
to Nrpatungavarman we have more or less 
indirect references to Vishnu temples and Vishnu 
worship, and just a few occasional references 
to the temple at Vengadam itself. In the light 
of the works of the Alvars alone, we ought to 
hold that Vishnu worship was prevalent and 
popular. We have enough of secular evidence 
in what has been stated above. We need not 
therefore, be unnecessarily sceptical about the 
statements of the 5.1vars in regard to the 

TO A.D. BOO. The general trend of South Indian 
History during the first eight centuries of the 
Christian era may be set down in general terms 
as follows. The Andhra rulers, whose authority 
during the best periods of their history extended 
over the region beginning southwards .from 



Ajmer and Pushkar in the north down to the 
western districts of modern Mysore, had an 
alternative capital in the basin of the lower 
Krishna at Amaravati wherefrom they stretched 
southwards, and, perhaps at one time, made an 
effort to extend their authority successfully even 
down to the southern Pennar. It is perhaps this 
effort of the great Andhra Yaguasri that set up a 
vigorous opposition from the Tamils. When 
ultimately the Andhra power collapsed at the 
beginning of the third century, some of the 
enterprising governors of these eastern provinces 
of the Andhras probably made an effort to 
gradually fix their hold upon the territories of 
To^damandalam. The gradual pressure from 
the Andhra empire seems to have set up a popular 
movement resulting in the migration of the some- 
what less civilised people who seem to have 
completely upset the governments of South India 
and introduced what may well be regarded as the 
period of anarchy to which the later inscriptions 
refer in unmistakable terms. This is the move- 
ment of the pepole called Kalvar or Kalavar, 
and they must have moved down from the region 
round and about Vengadam, if not from the 
whole of the Tondamandalam. The subversion 
of the Chola dynasty seems to have been more 
or less -complete, and the Pandya power suffered 
substantially, if not exactly to the same degree, 



ao that there seems to have been something like 
a break in the established order for a number of 
generations, say six to eight. Emerging from 
this a new Pandya dynasty had to re-establish its 
claims to what normally belonged to them, some 
time about the end of the 6th century, and 
through a course of struggle lasting for more 
than two centuries restored themselves to their 
former position. The materials at our disposal 
generally give evidence of another such recovery 
on the part of the Cholas. It looks as though the 
Chola power had not been completely destroyed, 
although for the moment it was so thoroughly 
crippled that it failed to show itself during 
these centuries. It was in the course of this 
movement that the so-called Pallava state of 
Kanchi came into existence and successfully 
established its authority over the territory 
extending from the river Krishna down to the 
southern Pennar. In the course of this effort, 
they seem to have shifted their capital. Kanchi 
was certainly an important city and was regarded 
as the capital of Tondamandalam in an earlier 
period. During the next following centuries the 
dominating power of South India became the 
ruling power at Kanchi known as the Pallava, 
generally referred to in Tamil works relating to 
the period, as the kings of the " northern 
territory ", as distinct from the three crowned 



kings of the south. The period of struggle 
which culminated in the establishment of this 
dominent position of the Pallavas is the period 
covered by the Pallava dynasty of the Sanskrit 
charters, as the epigraphists call them, beginning 
almost with Vishnugopa of Kanchi referred to in 
the Samudragupta inscription and coming down 
to Simhavarman II, the father of Simhavishnu. 
The two centuries and more therefore of this 
dynasty is the period of the building up of the 
Pallava power in the south. 



Bappa c. A. D. 225-250. 

Siva Skandavarman I of KSnchi. c. 250-275. 

Buddhavarman 275-300. Md. CharudSvi. 


Buddhyankura 300-325. 

VishnugSpa 1325-350. 

Skandavarman 11350-375. 

Kumara- Vishnu I alias KSlabharty 375-400. 

Buddhavarman 11400-425. 


Skandavarman III or Chfyu-Pallava. 
Kumara Vishnu 11425-450. Viravarman or ' Vlrakurcha.' 

Vijaya Skandavarman IV alias Skandasishya 450-475. 
(Fleet makes reign end in 436). 

Simhavarman 1* 475-500 (Fleet 
makes his accession as in the 
year following August 25, 436). 
This king crowned the Ganga 
Harivarman or Ayyavaram for 
the purpose of crushing the 
BSna chiefs, about A. D. 450. 

Skandavarman V alias Chanfla- 
dan4a 500-525 (c. 460 Fleet) 
Installed the Ganga Madhava I 
about 470 (Fleet). 

Nandivarman ,1 525-550. 

1 Yuvamaharaja ' VishnugSpa II 
or ' Kumara Vishnu ' Did not 
reign. Recaptured Kanchi from 
the Cholas. 

Simhavarman II Did not reign. 
VishnugSpa III Did not reign. 

* For Fleet's date see/ R. A. S. 1915, p. 471 f, especially p. 465; 




Simfiavarman 11550-575. 

Simhavishnu or ' Avanisimha-PSttaraja ' 
MahSndravarman 1600-630. 

Narasimhavarman 1630-668. 
Captured Badami from W. Chajukyas, 642 

MahSndravarman 11668-670. 

ParamSsvara Potavarman 1670-690. 
'Destroyed the city of Ranarasika.' Won battle of Peruvalanallu'r. 

Narasimhavarman II 690-715. 

Parame*svara-P<5tavarman II 715-717. Mahe"ndravarman. 

The line ended with him. 


Simhavarman II 550-575 






Hiranyavarman. Md. R5hini. 

Nandivarman 11717-779. 

Won battles at Mannaikku(}i and Sankaramangai against the Pan4yas. 
Pan<}ya records however claim the victory, prior to A. D. 769. 

I) an tivarman 779-830 Vanquished by Rashtrakflta GSvinda III, 
to whom he became feudatory, about 804. 

Nandivarman III 830-854. 
Md. Sankha, dau. of Raster aktya AmSghavarsha 1. 

I " I 

Nfpatunga 854-880. The Bana chief Vijaya-Kampa. 

B5na-VidySdhara was his tributary. 

A^arSjita 880 c. 898 crushed by the ChBla king 
Sditya I, and territory annexed. 



vishnu the son of Simhavarman II, we come to 
the period of the Pallava history when a great 
dynasty of Pallava rulers, as set forth in the 
tables above, held rule over South India and 
established a dominence which they had to make 
good as against the Chalukyas of Badami, the 
contemporary Dakhan power whose southern 
frontier was more or less continuously in touch 
with the northern frontier of the Pallavas ; the 
whole block of territory between the Krishna 
and the Tungabhadra in the upper part of its 
course, and the northern Pennar in the lower, 
happened to be the debatable land between the 
two powers. It was more or less the rivalry 
between the Andhras and the Tamils of the 
earlier period carried forward almost undiminish- 
ed during the period of the great Pallavas. 
The first South Indian power to recover from 
the devastating irruption of the Kalvars was the 
Pan<Jya, and naturally the Pandyas challenged 
the title to supremacy over the Tamil land set 
up by the Pallavas. The struggle seems to 
some extent somewhat embittered not merely by 
the political rivalry of the dynasties, but by 
racial bitterness, and, to some extent, even 
cultural hostility. This great dynasty of Palla- 
from Simhavishgu almost down to the- e&ft 



of the reign of Nandivarman II may be saicl 
to have held their own. Their title however was 
seriously challenged by the rising power of the 
Pandyas who, almost about the same time as 
the beginning of this dynasty, recovered to 
some considerable degree their original position 
and prestige to make a successful attack on the 
Pallavas. This Pallava-Pandya struggle was 
a feature of this period of Pallava history, 
and culminated almost in the simultaneous 
extinction of both the powers as dominating 
South Indian politics. We have already stated 
that the Pallava sovereigns of this dynasty 
though engaged primarily in war were not 
negligent of their duties as civil rulers. Their 
achievement is on the whole very considerable 
both in useful public works and in the pious acts 
of benefactions to religion. Notwithstanding 
this we do not find them to have done anything 
worthy of record to the holy shrine at Ven- 
gadam, notwithstanding the fact that the shrine 
had attained to great fame early in its history. 
This can be explained as due more or less to 
Vengadam being on a frontier in dispute 
between the Pallavas and their northern neigh- 
bours for one reasou. Almost the first Chola 
to establish his authority over the territory of 
the Pallavas has had to do a good deal of 
ftghtiag on this frontier in fact, as his inscrip- 



tions state it he laid down his life iii battle at 
a place called Tondamanarriir, not; far from 
Kalahasti on the Svarnamukhi river. This 
was the great frontier of dispute between the 
Andhras and the Tamils at one period, and 
the Pallavas and the Chalukyas in the suc- 
ceeding period. Vengadam, ordinarily acces- 
sible only with difficulty, has had this further 
difficulty added to it, a,nd therefore was not 
as much frequented as a place of pilgrimage 
as other places within the frontiers of the 
Tamil land. 


a pious pilgrim, a mendicant or a poor family- 
man, would not lead to the leaving of records 
in the temple. It must be a visit of ruling 
families, either royal or feudatory, or powerful 
and important officials which would lead to 
placing their bequests on record. The reason 
stated above would make such visits almost 
impossible when the frontier was in dispute. 
Then again the practice of recording inscrip- 
tions had not yet become so common as we 
have already noticed, and therefore the absence 
of records of this period in the temple need 
not surprise us, and certainly will not justify 
the inference that the temple either had ceased 
to exist or ceased to be of importance. Either 
inference would be unwarranted on the mere 




basis of this fact. The two centuries following 
proved to be again a period of transition, and 
therefore it is that even during this period 
we are not likely to have such records in 
volume to furnish much information regarding 
the temple. We shall have to come into the full 
light of the period of Chola ascendency before 
we get any useful inscriptional information. 


Before closing this section, however, we may note 
down such inscriptional references as have come 
down to us in regard to Vishnu shrines and 
Vishnu worship in this region of the country. 
The first inscriptional reference, in point of time, 
is the record known as the British Museum plates 
of Charudevi. * This is a Prakrit charter issued 
by the queen-regent in the name of her minor 
son Vijayabuddhavarman, sometimes read as 
Buddhyankura, son of Maharaja Vijayaskanda- 
varman. It is a grant to a temple of Narayaija 
at a place called Dalura. The next one is what 
is known as the grant of Simhavarman.f The 
record opens frankly with an invocation to 
Vishnu in the name of Bhagavat, and purports to 
have been issued from the camp at Menmatura, 
and is a grant of Simhavarman, son of Maharaja 

*Epig. Indica, VIII. p. 143. 
T ibid, p. 159. 


Vishnugopa, who in turn is stated to have been 
the son of Maharaja Skandavarman. The next 
one is what is known as the Uruvappalli grant * of 
Yuva Maharaja Vishnugopavarman who is des* 
cribed as a worshipper of Vishnu (Parama Bhaga- 
vata). It is a grant to the temple of God Vishiju* 
hara at the village of Kandukura. The next one 
is what is known as the Mahendravadi inscrip- 
tion f of Grunadhara. It is an inscription of the 
great Mahendravarman and the shrine is called 
Mahendra Vishnugrha on the bank of the Mahen- 
dratataka in the city of Mahendrapura, all of these 
names having reference to Mahendravadi. The 
next one is Mandagappattu J of Vichitrachitta, 
another name of Mahendravarman. It refers to 
the construction of a cave-temple to Brahma, 
Isvara and Vishnu by Mahendravarman. The 
next one is the series known as the Vaikuntha- 
perumal inscriptions in the temple of Vaikuntha- 
perumal constructed by Nandivarman II, Pallava* 
malla. The temple is in Conjeevaram, and the 
inscriptions describe the circumstances under 
which Nandivarman came to the throne of Kanohi. 
The next one is what is known as the 

* Ind. Antiquary, V, p. 50. 
T-Ejo. Ind. IV, p. 152 ff. 
%Ep.Ind. XVII, p. 14. 
$ South Ind. In. IV, p. 10 ff . 



tSttam plates of KSvijaya-Nandivikramavarman.* 
This makes provision for the conduct of worship 
in the local Vishnu and oiva temples, and for the 
reading of the Mahabharata in the temple. A 
similar provision for the reading of the MahabhS- 
rata in the temple is referred to in the Kuram 
plates of Paramesvaravarinan I, three or four 
generations earlier. The next reference is the 
inscription of the temple of S.divaraha at Mah5 - 
balipuram f dated in the 65th year of the same 
sovereign Nandivarman II, Pallavamalla. The 
next one is what is known as the Tiruvellarai 
inscription + of Dantivarman in the Pundari- 
iaksha Perumal temple near Trichinopoly. The 
next one is an inscription of the 9th year of 
Dantipottarasar in the Vaikunthaperumal temple 
at Uttaramallur, which is much nearer. Then 
.we come to the Triplicane inscription of the 
same sovereign in the garbhagrha of the temple. 
This is dated in the '25th year of Dantivarmajn 
Maharaja^ and refers to a donation to the 
temple. The next one is one of the 21st year of 
ithe same king in the Vaikunthaperumal temple 

flf. Ind. Ini. II, p. 517. 

T Epig. Colin. 666 of 1922. 

I Epig. Ooll. 54L of 1905 Ep Jnd.XL, 156. 

Ep. Ooll. -74 of 1898, 


at Uttaramallur.* The next one is a reference in 
the 51st year of Vijaya-Dantivikrama to the 
Perumanadigal atTiruvijangovil in Tirucchohinur 
inKudavur-Nadu,a Hub-division of Tiruvengadak- 
kottam. f If this Vijaya-Dantivikrama is the 
Dantivarman son of Nandivarman II this would be 
the earliest record in this region of the Pallavas. 
The next is a record in the Ulagalanda-Perumal 
temple at Conjee varam dated in the 18th year of 
Nandipottarayar, victor at Tellaru obviously 
Nandivarman III. J The next one is in the Venka- 
t&sapperumal temple at Tirumukkudal in the 
Madhurantakam Taluk of the 24th year of 
Nrpatungavarman. It is a gift of gold to the 
temple of Vishnu, which was taken charge of by 
the assembly of Siyyapuram, the modern Sivaram 
near Conjeevaram. This spread of the inscriptions, 
and the number of Vishnu shrines coming under 
reference would indicate the prevalence of 
Vishnu worship, at least as one of the popular 
religions of the country. But in all these there 
is still the remarkable omission of Tiruvenga- 
4am as a Vishnu shrine, which omission may 'be 

*J3p. Gall. 61 of 1896. 
btt. 862 of 1904. 
. Ooll. 12 of 1-895-; Madras Ohrtetian Gollege Mag. 

, p. 402. 

179 of 1916. 



explained as being due to causes already 
indicated above. 


The region with which we are concerned, which, 
for convenience, we may call the region of 
north Tondamandalain extending northwards 
of Kanchi and taking into it all the territory 
almost up to the river Krishna, has always been 
the debatable frontier of history for the Tamil 
country. We have already noticed that it was 
so between the Andhras and the Tamils before 
the Paliavas came into power. In the days of the 
early Paliavas this constituted their territory 
principally, their expansion taking place gene- 
rally towards the south. With the advent of 
the great Paliavas in the latter half of the 6th 
century, a change had come over this region 
also. In the earlier period this was included 
in the great Bana country, Perumbanappadi 
as it was called in Tamil, to the west of which 
lay the land of the Gangas. But at this period 
,a new power sprang up in the region to the 
north-wsst which early acquired possession of 
-the south- western viceroyalty of the Andhras. 
These were the Chalukyas who early acquired 
this region and established themselves at their 
capitl in Vatapi, the modern Badami in the 
BijapSr taluk. Their expansion into thia region 
itself was something of an aggression into 


territory to which the Pallavas felt themselves 
entitled legitimately as the successors of the 
Andhras. There sprang up a natural rivalry 
between the two powers and the frontier line 
moved to and fro according to the exigencies 
of the wars between the two. While there were 
two great powers well balanced one against the 
other and contending for mastery indecisively, 
the districts in the middle changed possession ; 
but still in their own interests they had to 
remain attached to the one power or the other, 
but subordinate and feudatory. When these 
powers showed a tendency to weaken by the 
exhausting wars, the natural tendency to inde- 
pendence would show itself more prominently, 
and so it did. While the empire of the Chaluk- 
yas was weakening towards its fall, and before 
the establishment of the powerful dynasty of 
the Rashtrakutas in their place, the central 
powers seem to have found an occasion to 
assert themselves. The BSnas seem gradually 
to disappear from the scene, while the bulk of 
their territory got absorbed into the empire of 
the Pallavas ; the northern portions seem to 
have remained in the hands of a feudatory 
dynasty which claimed Chola descent. Probably 
they sprang from a family of Chola rulers who 
might have been planted in the north in early 
times ; but they came into prominence only iu 



the 7th century. Their territory was " a seven 
thousand country " with the Cuddapah district 
for its centre, and these were known as the 
Telugu Cholas later on. They ruled over 
Maharajavadi Seven-thousand extending from 
Cuddapah eastwards to take into it the district 
called Pottappinadu round Kalahasti, the region 
with which we are directly concerned. The 
territory of these Cholas who at a particular 
period came to be more closely associated with 
Pottappi, was one new state which comes to 
notice when the Pallava power wore away. 

FRONTIER. In the course of a struggle we 
already adverted to, between the Chalukyas 
and the Pallavas success lay with the Chalukyas 
in the earlier period. They were able to take 
so much of Pallava territory that the great 
Chalukya ruler Pulikesan felt justified in appoint- 
ing a younger brother Viceroy over the eastern 
districts extending from the Pallava frontier 
right on to the Krishna and beyond, thus laying 
the foundation, unconsciously it may be, of 
the kingdom of the Eastern Chalukyas. When 
the Rashtrakuta usurpation took place in the 
middle of the 8th century in the Chalukya 
kingdom itself, this viceroyalty remained by 
itself alone without being absorbed into the 
Rashtrakuta territory not only to maintain its 



independence but to become so aggressive as 
to be a source of weakness and danger to the 

Rashtrakutas. When after two centuries of 

expansion and empire, the Rashtrakutas suffered 
a usurpation by a Chalukya feudatory of theirs, 
setting up another state and founding the later 
Chalukya dynasty, the Eastern Chalukyas had 
begun somehow or other to collapse simul- 
taneously and become a minor power ; but still 
they held the territory immediately north of the 
Telugu Cholas, sometimes claiming suzerainty 
over them, so that they were oftentimes in 
contact with the Pallava frontier in the north. 
So during the period when the Pallava power 
was actually overthrown and the Cholas esta- 
blished themselves as the leading power, these 
states were also coming into notice, along 
with the Gangas of Mysore proper and of the 
Nolambas, a dynasty which claimed relationship 
with the Pallavas in the Ceded Districts ; so 
that when the Cholas effected the conquest of 
Toiidamandalam, they had to deal with all these 
powers and bring them one after another under 
their influence either by peace or by war to 
assure peace to their empire. We shall see that 
these, particularly the first two, the Tamil 
Cholas and the Chalukyas showing themselves 
prominently in the history of the region with 
which we are directly concerned. 



SOUTH INDIA. From the end of the 6th century 
onwards, as we have already noted, the Pailavas 
had to maintain a two-faced struggle for 
existence : one all along their northern frontier 
against the Chalukyas, and the other practically 
all along their southern frontier against the 
Pandyas. Sometimes the southern power and 
the northern joined to the great detriment of the 
Pailavas in between. Notwithstanding the diffi- 
culties of the position and the successful wars 
that their enemies conducted against them, the 
Pailavas managed to hold their own from the 
days of Simhavishnu who laid claim to have 
conquered the Cholas down to comparatively 
late in the reign of Nandivarman Pallavamalla. 
Pallavamalla had to fight hard against the 
Pandyas, and siicceeded in maintaining himself 
ultimately by perhaps getting into a marriage 
alliance with the Rashtrakutas who superseded 
the Chalukyas in the middle of the 8th century. 
It is from thence that the Pallava decline may be 
said to begin. On the northern frontier the 
usurpation of the Rashtrakfitas and their pre- 
occupations with the rulers of Malva on the one 
side and the Eastern Chalukyas on the other, 
gave the Pailavas the much-needed respite on 
that side. But simultaneously the vigour of the 
wars increased. They were able to keep 



the Ceylonese out of the struggle, and succeeded 
in pressing the Pallavas close till finally the 
Pandyas were able to march victoriously through 
much of the South Arcot District under their 
great ruler Varaguna II. About this time a 
civil dissension within the Pandya territory 
brought the Ceylonese into the struggle. Taking 
advantage of this, the Pallavas managed, with 
the assistance of their feudatories all round, 
particularly the Gangas, in pressing the Pandyas 
south from the banks of the Kaveri which 
had become the sceiice of this Pallava-Pandya 
wars generally. It is in this engagement that the 
name of the Chola power figures on the side of 
Pallavas naturally. Very soon after, in fact 
within a decade of this victory, the Chola 
somehow found the position wholly unsatisfactory 
and took upon himself to lead the forces of the 
victorious power allied with the Pallavas against 
the last Pallava himself, and won a decisive 
victory against him, and put himself in the 
position of the leading power among the southern 
states. The Pandyas, being otherwise occupied 
in their home struggles and against the Ceylon 
invasions, left these very much to themselves. 
The Pallavas who managed to hold their own 
even as against the powerful Pandyas seein> 
after their last great struggle against the 
, to have weakened considerably, perhapg 



owing to the dissensions within the family aided 
by the disloyalty or the changeable loyalty of 
the feudatories. We are not able to see clearly 
the details of the struggle, but the fact that the 
inscriptions of the Pallavas are scattered all 
along the territory, and three or four Pallava 
names occur as rulers without any reference to 
a common authority at the centre, seem to 
indicate that there were dissensions in the 
Pallava succession after Aparajita, or while yet 
he was holding rule. This, together with the 
disaffection of the feudatory states, naturally 
paved the way for the assertion of his authority 
by one of the feudatory states, with the prestige 
of former greatness and perhaps the present 
power, acquired through two centuries of careful 
piloting of their policy and the building up of 

their resources. The first Chola of this modern 

dynasty, Vijayalaya stands out thus the most 
powerful among the feudatories of the Pallavas 
who does not seem yet to proclaim himself as the 
successor of the Pallavas in their position as the 
leading Southern power. The advent of his son 
Aditya puts a new vigour into this kind of a 
struggle, and one plain fact which emerges 
out of the darkness of the period is the 
signal achievement of his, that he brought the 
whole of the Tondama^dalam under Chola 
authority. That is a clear statement The 


achievement of his predecessor fell short of a 
supersession of the Pallavas all round although 
he established the position of the Cholas as a 
rising South Indian power. When Aditya came 
into possession of his father's conquests matters 
were ripe for him to advance northward and take 
possession of the home territory of the Pallavas, 
which would set the seal upon the succession 
of the Cholas to the leading position of the 
Pallavas in South India. 


PALLAVA INSCRIPTIONS. Among the inscriptions 
so far published by the Tirupati Devastanam 
there are just eleven inscriptions which relate 
to the Pallavas. Of these the first two inscrip- 
tions refer themselves to the reign of a king 
Dantivikramadeva. The first of them belongs 
to the 51st year of the reign. This would bring 
us to somewhere about A. D. 833-34, that is, 
just the generation following that of the latest 
Alvar, Tirumangai Alvar. The inscriptions 
both of them are gifts of money for the purpose 
of maintaining a perpetually burning lamp for 
the image of the temple at Tiruvengadam in- 
stalled in Tiru-Ilankovil. Ilankovil is a term 
we have come across with in the works of the 
Mudal Alvars as referring to the temple on the 
hill at Vengadam. Whether we should interpret 
Ilankovil here also that way may be regarded 



open to doubt, as the record is in the temple 
at Tirucchanur. It is however probable that the 
gift was made and put on record here for the 
service on the hill shrine. These two inscriptions 
already indicate the existence of a complete 
organisation of the administration of the country 
that we find much more fully described in the 
large number of records of the following period. 
Here Tirucchohinur is referred to as belonging 
to Kudavur Nadu in the Tiruvengadakkottam. 
The gift is made by an officer of the Chola 
country who made the donation. From this 
and a number of inscriptions in the group we 
find Tiruvengadakkottam belonging to the Tonda- 
mandalam, or, as it was later called Jayan- 
kondacholamandalam, divided into four nUdus, 
of which Kudavuruadu comprised the villages 
round Tirupati, while the villages round the 
town of Chandragiri, a few miles to the west 
are grouped in Vaikunthavalanadu. Farther 
west the country dependent upon Chittoor now, 
are grouped together in the division Tuyyanadu. 
The country to the east of Tirupati and round 
about Kalahasti goes by the name Arrurnadu, 
obviously from the Toiidamanarrfir or To^da- 
manperarrur, not far from Kalahasti itself on 
the river Svarnamukhi. Apart from these we 
Bee the temple already under an organisation 
under which people at distances could make 



their donation and deposit their capital with 
properly constituted authorities in the con- 
fidence that the maintenance of a perpetual 
lamp, extending over a long period of time, 
would be safely attended to. The village is 
already under an organisation with something 
like a Secretary (rl-karyam) to carry on the 
actual work. Inscription 4, also from the 
Tirucchohinur temple, refers to a deposit in gold 
with the Srl-karyawii and the gift was to be 
announced publicly and should be maintained 
in the register as the ffrniyogam, that is, the 
command of the people of the town. This is 
intended for the benefit of the god in llankovil, 
of the god installed in MantraSala, and the 
god in Tiruvengadam. No. 6 is a provision 
for feeding two Brahmans in the temple. No. 7 
is a record of &aka 820, A. D. 898, and refers 
to the revenue puravu of the village of 1,000 
kadi, and whatever was due to the government 
of the village, giving us clearly to understand 
even in this imperfect condition of the record, 
that the rural organisation was pretty much the 
same as what we find described more fully in 
later records. Records 8 and 9 which are 
included among the Pallava inscriptions ought 
really to belong to the next following period. 
These refer to the 14th year of Ko-Parthivendra- 
varman, which seems to be the designation 



of the Chola prince &ditya II, Karikala, as he 
is called. We cannot say for certain that he 
lived on to the 14th year of his reign. But 
anyhow the number of records that have 
recently come to light would show that the 
prince Aditya II of the Cholas probably had this 
title and held the government of the northern 
region under his father Sundara Chola. These 
two records relate to gifts by a certain lady, 
Samavvai, the wife of a Kadava (Pallava) chief 
named Saktivitankan (Saktividangari in Tamil), 
a subordinate of Parthivendravarmau. The lady 
herself is described as the daughter of a Pallava 
Pergadai, which means a high officer under a 
Pallava chief, or it may be interpreted as a 
Pallava chief who held the high office. Sakti- 
vitankan is a name merely, and he was of 
Pallava descent who had married apparently, a 
Kannada chieftain's daughter who held the 
high office under the Pallavas of Pergadai) a 
Kannada title like the Tamil Perundaram. The 
title of the lady was Kadavan Perundevi, and 
the gift is made to " the god standing at 
Vengadam ". She made an image of silver with 
a number of jewels and ornaments, of which a 
list is given, the value of which is set down at 
47 kalanju of gold. She made this gift, and, after 
having performed an ablution of the God, made 
over to the temple authorities, 3,000 kuli of land 



as measured by the rod of the ghatika (a settle- 
ment of learned Brahmans) of 16 spans, making 
up three patti of land. These were acquired 
from various parties, of which the Sabha of 
Tirucchohinur is one. A Lakshmana Nambi, the 
manager of a Matha is another. The god of 
Ilankovil is the third. These were acquired by 
the payment of the prices to the parties 
concerned. A further payment was also made 
to the Sabha, and the Grod concerned for making 
it tax-free, and the land was then made over 
to the temple for certain purposes of service 
on particular occasions of the year. The proper 
carrying out of these is entrusted to the 
managers of the Matha in Tiruvengadam. The 
lands would have to be taken care of and looked 
after by the Sabha, and this disposition was to 
last as long as the sun and the moon, and the 
whole arrangement is put under the direction 
of the Sri Vaishnavas. The next following grant 
is altogether similar and refers to the gift of 
4,176 kuli of land made over similarly to 
the managers of the Matha for use for the 
purpose of the festival on the occasion of the 
Margali-DvadaSi, the Dvadasi or the 12th day 
of the growing moon in the month of Margate, 
December January. The two other records 
included in this section really belong to a much 
later period though they were grants by Pallava 



rulers, and may be held over for a later stage 
for consideration. These two should perhaps be 
so treated; but, as coming so close to the Pallavas 
and as indicating fully the organisation at 
the time, it is of advantage to take them over 
here. It will thus be seen that from these few 
inscriptions we find that the temple is provided 
already, in the days of Dantivarman Pallava 
of the Triplicane inscriptions, with the organisa- 
tion for the management which we find in 
regard to these temples generally in the period 
following. Not only is the temple provided with 
the requisite machinery of management, but 
we find already the administration of the 
division in full swing with the assemblies of the 
villages, with various departments of accounts, 
the Sabha managing lands, selling them to 
parties, taking payment and making them tax- 
free, and administering them as trust lands for 
the purposes for which they were dedicated 
by the donors. We could not well regard the 
temple organisation as having been just then 
brought into existence, as we find it in these 
records. Notwithstanding therefore the paucity 
of information, we would be justified in taking 
it that the organisation and worship in the 
temples had already been sufficiently well 
established and long in use. 



TAKA I AND PARANTAKA ii. Passing on to the 
dynasty of the Cholas we have two records of 
Parantaka I, both of them in the|temple at Tiruc- 
chanur. We have already mentioned before 
that, on the establishment of the Chola power after 
the overthrow of the last Pallava by Vijayalaya, 
it took another campagin under his son and 
successor Aditya to bring the whole of the Tonda- 
mandalam under the Chola authority, and that 
this Chola ruler Aditya successfully brought the 
whole of it under the authority of the Cholas. 
From one of his titles, it is inferable that he died 
at Tondamanajrur near Kalahasti, probably in a 
campaign in the northernmost border of this 
territory. We may infer from this that, before 
his death, he had successfully brought the whole 
of the Tondamandalam under his authority 
including the most northerly Tiruvengadak- 
kottam. His son and successor Parantaka 
came to the throne in A. D. 906, and had a long 
reign of 48 years which would take his reign to 
A. D. 9B2-3. Under Parantaka therefore we 
may take it that Tondamandalam formed part 


of the Chola empire. The existence of two of his 
records in Tirucchanur is not surprising. The 
first of them belongs to his 29th year, that is, 
about A. D. 935. The document refers to the 
agreement by the Sabha of Tirucchanur to 
burn a perpetual lamp in the temple as long 
as the sun and moon last, that is, for all time, 
on behalf of an officer apparently, who paid the 
money. This officer is described as belonging 
to Malainadu (Chera country) and to Kodungalur 
(Cranganore). He deposited 40 kalanju of gold 
as weighed by the current weight of the town. 
The whole charge is placed under the protection 
of the devotees of our Lord God (Emberuman 
Adiyar). The other record relating to the reign 
is again for the burning of a lamp. It is too far 
gone to make anything more out of it. The two 
records already referred to as belonging to a 
Parthivendravarman, the son of Parantaka II, 
indicate that the state of things that the two 
inscriptions of Parantaka I exhibit, continued 
pretty much the same under his successors for 
two or three generations, so that we may take 
it that, notwithstanding the wars of which we 
have records in this part, the Chola authority 
was maintained more or less continuously. 
Parantaka's queen was a Chera princess, and 
that an inhabitant of the Chera kingdom should 
have come all the way from Kodungalur to 



make this charity would not be anything 
surprising. This Kodungaluran was probably 
an officer in the service of the Chola monarch, 
and felt called upon to make this charity in 
the course of his official tours. In this and 
the earlier inscriptions, the place is called 
Tirucchohinur as the name of the place. One 
would infer from this that the name was derived 
from Jogimallavararn, a part of Tirucchohinur, 
the Jogi being transformed in Tamil Sohu. 
Sanskrit Yoga assumes the form Yogu in Tamil ; 
in fact the term in that form occurs in the 
Prabandha, and a further transformation from 


that into Sohu is not impossible. But the 
possibility is not enough in this case. We must 
know first of all that Jogimallavaram had been 
a place known by that name earlier than 
Tiruchukanur. That place seems to be called 
Tiru-Parasaresvaram corrupted into Tiru-Pala- 
dhisvaram. We should also know beforehand 
that the place came to be called Jogimallavaram 
in Telugu, and when and why it was so called. 
The Pauranic association of the one place with 
Parasara and the other with his grandson Suka 
both of them Rishis, would be quite all right. 
But we have to demonstrate that the more 
popular names had the anterior vogue before 
making this important inference. My recent 
visit to the temple goes to confirm what 



I thought was the true explanation. The oiva 
temple is actually a few furlongs from 
Tirucchanur, and the temple is much shrunk 
from its original dimensions in a hamlet 
containing a few houses. The sanctum and the 
vestibule in front are all that are left over, and 
serve as the general stow-away for all the extra 
things of the few houses, that of the temple 
priest and a few others, immediately adjacent 
to the temple. I found a few cattle also being 
stalled quite close. The sanctum does contain 
the linyam over the usual pedestal. I was 
pointed out that there was a representation of 
a lingam and a yogi performing penance just in 
the pedestal. Siva is always represented by the 
linga ; what the particular murta or figure is 
intended to be has necessarily to be indicated 
otherwise, and the indication is given in this 
fashion in one of the cornices in the stone 
pedestal. That gives the name Yogimallavaram 
for the place, that is, Grod Siva presenting 
himself to the Yogi Arjuna in the form of a malla 
or wrestler, to test his strength before granting 
him the boon of Diva's Pasupata, for which he 
performed penance. If this is the murta 
intended to be indicated there according to the 
temple tradition, the name Yogimallavaram 
among the people would be perfectly clear. 
While therefore one might admit that this 




designation, having regard to the character of 
the image, is possible from the beginning of the 
temple, it is always open to sacerdotal tradition 
to give the temple a name, even at the outset, 
as Parasaresvaram, so long as the local 
tradition connected the locality with Parasara, 
and Siva's presence there is taken to be due to 
the penance of this venerable Bishi in the 
locality. It is quite possible that the two villages 
were connected with each other, as even now the 
space between the two is not worth mentioning. 
They might have gone together into the same 
unit for administrative purposes. 


Passing down we coine to the reign of Kajaraja 
of whom we have a number of records, namely 
five, Nos. 14 to 18 of the Devastanam Inscrip- 
tions, Volume 1. Of these a certain number 
happen to be copies made of the older inscriptions 
under the orders of Vlra Narasimha Yadavaraya 
when the inner shrine of the Venkatesvara 
temple was either repaired or renewed by a 
certain Tiruppullani Dasa. We shall refer to 
this fact again. But for the moment we are 
concerned with the records as documents 
referable to the reign of Kajaraja I. The first 
of these, No. 14, refers to the 16th year of 
Kajaraja, that is, the year A. D. 1001, and 
registers a gift* of an ornamental plate for the 



forehead for God T iruvengadadeva by a Devi 
Ammanar, meaning queen. She is described as 
a daughter of a Cheraman, a Chera king, the 
wife of a king who died in the golden hall, 
Ponmalikai. This designation is given to Paran- 
taka II, Sundara Chola, father of Rajaraja I, who 
had married a Chera princess, although she was 
not the mother of Rajaraja. She lived in the 
reign of Rajaraja, and apparently as a respected 
member of his household as the queen-mother 
for 31 years at least. The gift referred to 
weighed 52 kalanju of gold, and had set in it 
four rubies, and six diamonds and 28 pearls. 
As if to make clear any doubts, she is called 
Parantakadevi Amman, the queen of Parantaka. 
No. 15 also refers to Rajaraja I, and gives a part 
of the historical introduction which had become 
the fashion in his reign ; and this document 
contains one of the praSastis (meykklrtti) associ- 
ated with Rajaraja Fs inscriptions, and details 
his conquests. It refers to the gift by an officer 
who belonged to the Chola country, and to 
Svurkkurram on the southern side of the Kaveri. 
His name is given as Arulakki, with an official 
title Muvendavelan. The rest of the inscription 
is gone. No. 16 seems to refer to the 29th year, 
and has reference to the donation of a perpetual 
lamp to Tiruvengadamudaiyan, the God on the 
hill. There is the figure 29 which cannot be 



said to refer to the year of the ruler, as it is not 
quite in place for that. The next following is 
an inscription which comes from Tirucchaniir 
where the same officer paid 40 kalanju of gold, 
apparently for the burning of a perpetual lamp. 
Even that document is imperfect. The next one 
belongs to the 2*rd year of Rajaraja, and is found 
in the Parasaresvara temple at Jogimallavaram. 
This is a gift by a Brahman officer of the Chola 
country who belonged to Nenmali Nadu, and the 
Brahman village of Aruvaikkovai. His name 
is given as Kodinambi Angadi with a title 
Gangaikonda Sola Brahma Marayan (Maharaja 
Gangaikonda Chola Brahmana). He deposited 
26 kalanju of gold weighed by the measure, 
specifically in use in regard to charitable gifts, 
for the purpose of an ablution to God on the 
occasions of the Uttarayana Sankaranti, the 
first of day of Uttarayana every year coming 
about the middle of January. These inscriptions 
of Rajaraja refer to donations by his officers to 
the God on the hill, and to the Vishnu and iva 
temples at Tirucchaniir. Two of them attempt to 
record the official introduction, one by a plain 
recital, that is No. 15, and the other, No. 18, 
by a mere reference in the terms " with the usual 
prefatory meykklrtti ", or historical recital of his 
glorious deeds. That is so far as the reign of 
Rajaraja is concerned, A. D. 985 to A. D. 1016. 



Then follow two inscriptions of Rajendra Choja, 
his son. One of them from the temple on the 
hill, and the other at the foot of the hill in 
the Kapilesvara temple. This does not contain 
the praSasti or the official laudatory passage, 
and begins straightaway with the 7th year 
of Rajendra, the number of days in the 
year, omitted probably by inadvertence of the 
sculptor who engraved the inscription. That 
is, however wrongly read as the 7th day of 
the first year. The usual way of specifying 
these dates is, first to give the year, and then 
proceed to mention the date. The record here 
therefore mentions the year 7, followed by the 
day. The number which has to follow this is 
omitted. This would correspond to the year 
A. D. 1018. This is a very interesting document 
and refers to an official enquiry conducted in 
regard to the arrangements for the conduct 
of worship in the temple of the God at 
Tiruvengadam. The officer concerned is the 
lord of Kottamangalam. Tiruvengadakkottam is 
here referred to as a part of Perumbanappadi 
in Jayankondacholamandalam. He held the 
enqiiiry in Tiruchukanur belonging to Kuda- 
vurnadu, and Tiruchukanur is here described 
as a devadanam, gift to God. The officer held 
his court in the front hall of a building that 


he presented on a previous occasion, and held 
an inquisition into the management of the 
temple affairs. He made the enquiry from an 
officer of the survey and classification (vakai 
eyvadti) of land of Kudavurnadu. He is des- 
cribed as a Sirudanattu Perumakan, which would 
mean the chief official belonging to the class 
Sirudanawij and his name is given as Kadappan- 
kodaiyan, which would ordinarily mean belong- 
ing to Kadappan-kudai, the name of a village 
or a town, and the servants of the temple 
Devar Kanmi. It came out on the enquiry 
that the Sabha of Sirumundiyam, another village 
gifted to the temple, took possession of the 
gold offered, according to inscriptions recorded 
in stone, and agreed to burn 24 perpetually 
burning lamps including one to be burnt with 
camphor. Of these the Sabha of Tirumundiyam 
was burning only two lamps and could not 
burn the rest according to agreement, and 
requested that 20 kalanju belonging to the 
capital be recovered from the inhabitants of 
Tirumundiyam, and, along with three more 
kalanju from the temple treasury, should be 
made over to the Sabha of Tiruchukanur, so 
that they may, without fail, burn the total 
number of lamps in the temple on the hill. This 
was the decision given by the officer (Adhikarf) 
and this decision was accepted by the Sabha 



of Tirumundiyam, which was again accepted by 
the treasury of the temple at Tiruchukauur, and 
the requisite number of lamps was undertaken to 
be burnt by the officials of the temple and those 
engaged in the religious service to the temple 
as long as the sun and moon should last. This 
was the accepted decision of the Sri Vaishnavas. 
The other record refers to the Kapilesvaram 
temple at the foot of the hill known as the 
Kapilatirtham ; and refers to the raising of a 
building by the Lord of Kottur with the title 
Rajendra Chola Brahma-Marayaii with the official 
title Munayadaraiyan. From this time on to the 
date of Kulottunga I we have no records forth- 
coming. This would leave an interval between 
the year A. D. 1018 and the third year of 
Kulottunga I, A. D. 107 8, the date of the earliest 
record of the ruler, which would mean a period 
of about half a century. 


inscription No. 21 in the Parasaresvara temple 
at Jogimallavaram, we come upon the reign 
of Kulottunga Chola, whose reign period is 
counted from A. D." 1070 to A. D. 1148. This 
Kulottunga, as he called himself afterwards, 
was a prince of the dynasty of the Eastern 
Chalukyas, and was the son of the Chola 
princess Madhurantaki, the daughter of Rajendra 


Chola I, who was married to the Eastern 
Chalukya Rajaraja, who was again the son of 
Rajaraja's daughter married to the Eastern 
Chalukya prince Vimaladitya, so that Kulot- 
tunga was a Chola Chalukya prince, heir to the 
throne of the Eastern Chalukyas by birth, 
and became king of the Cholas by an act 
of usurpation. He was a remarkable Chola 
sovereign and is counted among the great Cholas 
deservedly. It is, however, noteworthy that, 
in the records round Tirupati and in several 
others of his earlier years, he is given all the 
Chalukya titles, some of which are titles 
of feudatory princes. Among them peculiarly 
the title " Samadhigata Panchamahasabda ", was 
assumed by the Eastern Chalukyas from the 
time of Kubja Vishnuvardhana, the first member 
of this dynasty. It began as a title of the 
feudatories entitled to go about with the band 
playing, the band being composed of musical 
instruments, the sounds produced emanating 
in five ways, according to the ancient classifi- 
cation of the various instruments constituting 
the band. The privilege of going about with 
the band playing was generally conferred upon 
those newly raised to dignity, as a mark of 
distinction. The first of these, No. 21 of Volume I 
describes him as a Mahamandalesvara (lord 
of a great division only), as an ornament of the 



Chalukya race, as the lord of Vengi, as the 
beloved of the Godavari river, and the supreme 
lord of Kanupakka, etc. All these my be 
regarded as peculiarly Eastern Chahikya titles- 
What follows is a matter for personal distinction, 
the fearsome one with the use of the sword 
(Karavala Bhairava). Then follows the title 
Venkatanatha Purandhara which seems to imply 
that he was a ruler over the region dominated 
by Venkatanathapura (Tirupati). He is said 
further on to have destroyed the stronghold of 
Katakapura, probably Cuttack in Orissa, the 
capital of the ancient Kalingas. With all this 
follows what is generally a feudatory title 
Mahamandalesvara. He is given the further 
title Maharaja $ri Vlra Rajendra Chola, and 
refers itself to the third year. He is given the 
title Rajendra Choladeva, to which sometimes 
is added the prefix Vlra, which, in the few 
instances in which it occurs in his age, ought 
to be interpreted as a mere attribute meaning 
valiant, and not as forming a part of the name, 
if for no other reason, for the simple reason 
that this is not uniformly given as his title, as 
in the case of the uncle whom he succeeded, 
Chola Vira Rajendra. The record is nothing 
more than a grant made for the purpose of 
maintaining two perpetual lamps. No. 22 is a 
record in Tirupati which is too far gone to make 


anything out of, except that it mentions 
Rajendradeva referring in all probability to 
this Rajendra Kulottunga. The next following 
document which is in the Siva temple at Jogi- 
mallavaram is a document of importance, as it 
gives one of those usual praSastis of Kulottunga 
recounting all his exploits both as a prince and 
as a ruler. It is a record of the 24th year of 
Kulottunga which would mean A. D. 1094. It 
is a grant made by somebody for burning 
four perpetual lamps in the temple for which, 
at the rate of 32 cows a lamp, 128 cows were 
taken possession of by a certain number of Saiva 
Brahmans engaged in service in the interior 
sanctum of the temple ; and that is the purpose 
of the record. The province concerned is 
described as Rajendracholamandalam instead 
of the usual Tondamandalam or Jayankonda- 
cholamandalarn, and the sub-divisions are 
mentioned as usual. No. 24 is a record of the 
same temple. The first part of it is gone. It 
refers itself to the 35th year, and records a grant 
made by one Kannan Vasudevan who is given 
the title Sola Brahma- Mar ay an, who destroyed 
darkness and acquired something by his own 
strength. He acquired a certain piece oi land in 
the devadana village Munnaippun^i, otherwise 
called Sivapadasekharanallur by paying five 
madai of gold, and getting the particular bit of 



land tax-free. The importance of the record 
consists however in the procedure that is indi- 
cated. This Kannan Vasudevan made the 
request of the superintendent of the Magani, a 
small revenue sub-division. He apparently got 
the order from the king himself who, by word 
of mouth, sanctioned the transformation of the 
village into a tax-free temple-gift land, in 
evidence whereof a number of officers of the 
settlement department affixed their signatures. 
Seven or eight such names are mentioned in 
detail. The land became a free-gift land to 
the temple from the 35th year of Kulottunga 
onwards. The next one No. 25 comes from the 
same temple and refers itself to the 41st year of 
Kulottunga. The record is in an imperfect state 
of preservation and refers to the sale of a certain 
bit of land to the Mahadeva, that is, to the 
temple. Among the other details mentioned are 
the temple, the digging of a tank in the near 
vicinity of Kalahastlsvara. The signatures are 
also gone. No. 26 is in the temple on the hill. 
But enough of it is left to show that it begins 
with one of the praSastis of Kulottunga whose 
name itself is mentioned. No. 27 is in the same 
temple and the bit of the praasti itself clearly 
refers unmistakably to the reign of Kulottunga. 
It refers to the gift of milk and curds for the God 
by a lady, the wife of an officer who had a title 



beginning Rajendra. The interesting point to 
note in this is the God in the temple is referred 
to as " Tiruvayppadi Tirumalai Alvar ", which 
would mean the lord of Tiruvayppadi (cowherd 
village) on the hill. It is a clear recognition in 
the reign of Kulottunga I that the God was 
regarded as an aspect of Krishna-Vishnu, as by 
the early Alvars. Unfortunately the precise 
date is not available in the record that the temple 
on the hill was recognised to be a temple of 
Krishna on the hill. No. 28 again in Tirupati 
can be taken to be a record of Kulottunga. The 
next following one is also his, but there is 
nothing of importance in it, and so also No. 30. 
Almost the same might be said of 31 and 32. In 
these records of Kulottunga amounting in all to 
12 records, we are given the indication that, in 
the days of Kulottunga, the region was directly 
under the Chola government undoubtedly, from 
the days while yet Kulottunga was only a 
Chalukya prince down to a comparatively late 
period in his reign. The shrines in the locality, 
a Vishnu shrine at Tirupati, the Siva shrine 
at Tiruparasaresvaram near Tirucchanur, the 
temple even of Kalahasti find mention. The 
Siva temple at Tiruparasaresvaram comes in for 
great benefaction. There is only one record of 
his successor Vikrama Chola, who came to the 
throne in A. D. 1118 and ruled for about 17 or 




18 years, so that his reign period would be 
A. D. 1118 to A. D. 1135. In this one record, 
Vikrama Chola is given all the Chalukya titles 
almost exactly as in the records of Kulottunga, 
even though the record happens to be one of his 
16th year, that is, A. D. 1134. The division is 
again referred to as Rajendrasolamandalam, and 
relates to a gift to the Tiruparasaresvaram temple 
of oil for lighting the lamps on the occasion of 
the festival in the month of VaikaSi, May June. 
The piece of land in gift is referred to as being'to 
the north of the Devadana village, Munnaippa<Ji. 

During the period therefrom, A. D. 1017 to 
A. D. 1135, we have a fairly large number of 
inscriptions referring to the temple on the hill, 
and the Siva and Vishnu temples at Tirucchanftr 
as also a reference to the great Siva shrine in 
the neighbourhood, Kalahasti. We may there- 
fore take it that these were certainly all of them 
in existence and received donations from various 
people, some of the more important donors 
being actually officers of government under the 
Gholas. The more important donations seem, 
however, to have been to the Siva temple 
at Yogimallavaram (Tiruparasaresvaram), and 
hardly any important one by way of major dona- 
tions of large gifts or additions to buildings, 
etc., to the Vishnu temple on the hill, or at 



Tirucchanur. Being more or less donations by 
private individuals we can hardly argue that it 
indicates partiality, one way or the other, of the 
government. The fact may, however, bear the 
inference that enthusiasm for Siva worship was 
rising perhaps among the people generally, but 
certainly among those occupying positions in life. 
On the basis of these facts it would be difficult to 
go further and say that there was anything like 
a movement of a Saiva character which could do 
damage to Vishnu worship and Vishnu temples as 
such. There is one noteworthy point, however, 
that, since the days of the great Gangaikonda 
Chola, the region seems to have passed out of 
view of inscriptional information for half a 
century, and then when it does come into view, 
it comes into view as the territory of the Chola- 
Chalukya prince Kulottunga, and the character 
of his earlier inscriptions in the locality would 
seem to warrant the impression that it ceased to 
be, if not formally, at any rate practically, 
intimately associated with the Chola empire as 
such. We might perhaps account for it by the 
keen contest between the Cholas and the Chaluk- 
yas of the west during the period. 

We stated already that it was the policy of 
Rajaraja to bring about peace between the 
empire and its neighbours on all frontiers with & 



view to the coming struggle between the Cholas 

and the Chalukyas, the two imperial powers face 

to face on the somewhat indefinite frontier of the 

north-west of the Cholas, and south and 

south-east of the Chalukyas. The peace with 

the Eastern Chalukyas sealed by a marriage 

alliance, probably had this coming great struggle 

in view ; but that Rajaraja anticipated this and 

made his arrangements accordingly is not left 

to us in doubt at all, as he put his son and 

heir-apparent the Grangaikonda Chola in charge 

of this north-western frontier and the war, 

thereby creating him a sort of a superior viceroy, 

not so much in charge of the territory, but in 

charge of the war on this frontier. Rajendra, 

the Gangaikonda Chola had to do a good deal 

of fighting on this frontier, and the war continued 

almost with the same vigour under his sons, 

three of whom succeeded one after the other on 

the Choja throne, before the Ghola-Chalukya 

Prince Kulottunga, we might almost say 

usurped the empire. During this period of war, 

the frontier districts, among them the region 

with which we are directly concerned, must 

have been constantly liable to attacks and 

invasions, and required special provision to guard 

against the enemy incursions; and one way of 

doing that perhaps was to include it in the 

iphere of the wardens of ifce northern frontier 



of the Cholas, the more so, as that particular 
frontier was in charge of a dynasty of rulers 
intimately related to the Chola family. It is not 
so much the transfer of this division or Maydalam 
to the Eastern Chalukyas, as a mere transfer 
of charge and the guardianship to whomso- 
ever was in charge of the southern portion of the 
Eastern Chalukya territory. It seems to be thus 
that the Chola-Chalukya prince Kulottunga came 
to be in charge ot it in the earlier years of his 
reign as these districts were a centre of the wax 
zone. We can understand from the fact that the 
immediate siiccessor of the Grangaikonda Chola 
had to march across the whole of the Mysore 
territory, which then was more or less under 
Chola control, to Karnpli in the Bellary district, 
not far from Hampi where are the ruins of 
Vijayanagar, and thence all the way through 
the Chalukya territory proper to Kolhapur in 
the heart of the Chalukya dominions. He fell in 
battle and his younger brother, who brought up 
reinforcements and beat back the enemy, had to 
fight hard to maintain his position. When he 
was succeeded by Virarajendra, he had to 
continue the same war ; but we find that that war 
had to be continued over more extensive fields. 
Virarajendra claims a victory over the Kuntalas, 
the Western Chalukyas, at Kudalsangamam, 
wherefrom he is said to have marched success- 



fully to Bezwada (Vijayavadi, as it is called in 
these inscriptions) and went further north. We 
find inscriptions of about this time in the Telugu 
country proper at Draksharama, and elsewhere in 
the neighbourhood, of the prince Vikramaditya, 
son of the Chalukya emperor Somesvara who 
was the reigning monarch. There is also the 
additional fact that the Chalukyas about this 
time, appear to have created a new viceroyalty in 
charge of a prince of the blood round the region 
of Kampli. These facts taken together would 
indicate clearly that the war between the two 
empires was quite as active in the region across 
Tiruvengadakkottam of the Tondamandalam. 
It would therefore be nothing surprising if the 
peaceful activity of people moving about on 
their normal official duties, holding enquiries 
and making donations, by the way, to temples 
and recording them in inscriptions remain 
suspended. That perhaps is the reason why 
between the comparatively early date in the reign 
of Rajendra, the Grangaikonda Chola, down to 
the third year of prince Kulottunga, we find no 
inscriptions in this locality, and this distraction 
must have continued even when Kulottunga had 
succeeded as the Chola emperor. Kulottunga 
and his contemporary the Chalukya Vikrama- 
ditya VI had both of them alike to make war 
the prime concern of their policy. It was rather 



late in their reigns, after a continuous struggle 
lasting for a whole generation as it were, that 
they realised that this war was likely to prove 
interminable, and as such detrimental to the 
actual interests of everybody concerned. Then 
they came to an understanding, implicit or 
expressed, we do not know for certain, to let the 
Mysore plateau remain with the Chajukyas ; and 
the two emperors contented themselves with 
keeping within their own frontiers and pursuing 
the arts of peaceful administration, for the 
remaining period of their lives. Kulottunga 
died somewhere about the year A. D, 1120 and 
Vikramaditya followed six years after. While 
there was a succession of capable rulers in the 
Chola empire, the Chalukya empire was not 
lucky to the same extent, and gradually 
weakened away towards its decline. Vikrama 
Chola had to be a viceroy of the Cholas in the 
ancestral territory of the Eastern Chalukyas, 
from where he had to march south to take over 
the Chola empire. All this period therefore 
was a period when the empire was preoccupied 
with war. 





period extending from the death of Vikrama 
Chola down to the early years of the reign of 
Rajaraja III, must have been for this region a 
period of the rise to prominence of the feudatory 
chieftains to power and authority. There were 
two sets of those who play a prominent part in 
the later years of Kulottunga III and throughout 
the reign of Rajaraja III, becoming independent 
rulers of the locality afterwards. Whether we 
could consider this activity on the part of the 
feudatories gradually to make themselves inde- 
pendent, is the actual cause of the absence of 
inscriptions, we cannot say for certain ; but it 
seems likely, as, early in the reign of Vikrama 
Chola, that region was to some extent distracted 
between loyalty to the Cholas and the Western 
Chalukyas. That disturbance must have been 
the cause of the ultimate establishment of 
independence by the local chieftains. This was 
made possible by the preoccupation of the 
imperial Cholas with their wars in the south, 
and the activity of the Hoysalas, who acquired 



a firm hold on the Chola territory in the period 
immediately following. 


The two centuries since the end of the Pallava 
ascendency early in the 10th century, almost 
down to the beginning of the period with which 
we are concerned happen to be the period of 
active life of the Vaishnava Acharyas, as distinct 
from the Slvars. The teachings of the 5lvars 
could not have been anything particularly 
systematic, and even the works which have come 
down to us could not have been known so widely 
in those early times. There is, however, a 
tradition which finds mention in the Guruparam- 
paraSj the traditional accounts of the lives of 
these Alvars and Scharyas, that Tirumangai 
5.1var during his life-time arranged for the 
recitation of these once a year on the occasion 
of a particular festival in Srirangam in 
December January of each year. Apart from 
the mere work of individual teachers, teaching a 
few pupils of theirs, there seems to have been no 
particular provision for the propagation of the 
Vaishnava teaching in any organised form. The 
need, however, seems to have been felt to some 
extent, and provision had to be made sooner or 
later. The credit for organising such is due to 
the first Vaishnava Acharya known by the name 



Nadamuni. He seems to have belonged to the 
village of Mannarkovil in the South Arcot 
District where he lived most of his life, spending 
some time also in the adjoining village called 
Kurukaikkavalappan Kovil in the South Arcot 
District, just about a mile off the Chola capital 
Gangaikondasolapuram. He probably was a 
practitioner of Vaishnavism, and a teacher of 
local reputation like so many others. It so 
happened that a set of Vaishnava pilgrims were 
going about worshipping in the Vaishnava 
shrines, and they came to the latter place where 
Nadamuni was engaged for the time being in 
teaching his pupils, and practising Yoga. When 
he heard them recite just one of the tens of the 
Tiruvaymoli of Nammalvar, he was struck with 
the verses, and he asked the pilgrims to repeat 
them ; and, having learnt from them the ten, he 
also learnt from them that it was only a ten 
taken from out of the 1,000 of Nammalvar, and 
the pilgrims heard it recited in the temple at 
Kumbhakonam. They learnt it off from there 
arid knew no more about the work or the author. 
Nadamuni was naturally curious to secure the 
whole if possible, as he had heard probably of 
Nammalvar and of his Tiruvaymoli. He went 
down to Kumbhakonam, and got from there no 
more information than he already possessed and 
the one ten which he had already taken down 



or got by rote from the pilgrims. He learnt 
however that it was possible that at Nammalvar's 
native place, ilvar Tirunagari as it is called, in 
the Tinnevelly District, it is possible he could 
find people who knew the whole of the work. 
So he started on his pilgrimage to Alvar Tiru- 
nagari. After futile attempts to gain information 
from anybody who knew anything about the 
whole work, he went into the temple and sat in 
Yogasamadhi in front of the sacred tamarind tree 
under which Nammalvar is said to have practised 
Yoga. He then chanced upon some one who 
had learnt this from Madhurakavi, the direct 
disciple of Nammalvar, and he is said to have 
secured the whole work. He brought it over to 
Srirangam and there revived the annual festival 
instituted by Tirumangai Alvar, which since had 
fallen into desuetude owing to the impossibility 
of bringing the image of Nammalvar all the way 
owing to heavy rains and floods. Having done 
this, he started on a pilgrimage to the holy 
shrines. It is said in the Guruparamparas that 
he travelled north as far as the Himalayas 
visiting some of the Vishnu shrines in these 
regions, and passing down southwards there* 
from, he visited Ahobalam, and then TirupatL 
He went away from Tirupati feeling that the 
arrangements for worship there were not as good 
as they should be. We are told nothing further 



than this in his life so far as Nadamuni is 
Concerned. He is said to have been born in 
the year of Kali 3684, which would mean 
A. D. 582-83. This obviously is too early a dating 
for him, having regard to the dates of the others 
given in this very account, if nothing else. 
There is further the fact that the Guruparamparas 
have to make up the dating in a way which 
perhaps gives us an idea roughly of the actual 
period in which he lived. He is said to have 
been 340 years in Toga to acquire the Tiruvay- 
moli from Nammalvar himself direct. The 340 
years, or say roundly three or four centuries, 
perhaps prove the gap between the Alvar and 
the first Acharya Nadamuni. Perhaps this may 
indicate roughly the time in which he flourished, 
some time early in the 10th century A. D. 


RAMANUJA. His grandson Alavandar Yamunait- 
turaivar or Yamunacharya), is said to have 
been born almost at the fag end of the life of 
Nadamuni, and lived on to see Bamanuja as a 
young man, made a similar pilgrimage to the 
shrines of holy reputation among the Vaishijavas 
and visited Tirupati similarly. He found appa- 
rently the same defect in regard to the arrange- 
ments for worship, particularly the fact that there 
was no satisfactory arrangement, such as, provid- 
ing for a; flower garden, for the-supply of flowers, 



etc., for the daily worship of God in the temple. 
As that was considered one of the necessary 
objects for the offer of worship, he wanted to 
know if any among his disciples would brave the 
rigours of a life on the hill, and do what was 
necessary to provide this essential need of daily 
worship. One of his own grandsons who had 
attained to manhood and had reached the stage 
of householder volunteered for this service, and 
moved himself away with two of his young and 
unmarried sisters to set up life on the hill. This 
is Tirumalai Nambi, as he is called, and that is 
perhaps more a title than an actual name. He 
settled down there, laid out a garden, and 
cultivated such flowers and plants required for 
worship, and further took it upon himself to 
provide water daily for the ablution of the image 
from the waterfall some distance away on the 
hill known by the name Akasaganga. One of the 
young sisters that he took with him was married 
to one Kesava Somayaji of Sriperumbudur. 
The offspring of this marriage was Ramanuja. 
Ramanuja's date of birth, according to the tradi- 
tional account of his life, is Kali 4118, A. D. 1017. 
The other date given of course is Saka 937 by a 
chronogram. So Ramanuja's life would be cast 
in the llth century mostly, extending, it maybe, 
into the 12th to some extent. Among the 
cardinal events of Ramanuja's' life happen to be 



at least two visits to Tirupati which in the nature 
of the case would be nothing very nntunial, 
although according to other accounts, he is said 
to have paid as many as four visits. We shall 
have to consider this matter in some detail later. 
One of his visits was for the purpose of being 
taught the Ramaya$a by his own uncle Tirumalai 
Nambi, who had received this exposition from 
Alavandar specifically. During another visit, he 
is said to have got the local ruler to build the 
GSvindaraja shrine at Lower Tirupati, and set up 
the image of Govindaraja, which was cast out of 
its place in the great temple at Chidambaram into 
the sea. During the time of Ramanuja, and while 
he was still teaching in orirangam, he felt the need 
again of an enterprising young man going and 
settling down in the temple for the flower 
service, probably because Tirumalai Nambi was 
growing too old for it, although the Guruparam- 
paras do not state it so. One of his disciples 
who happened to be an arrival from the district 
round Tirupati volunteered for this service, and 
this person is Anandalvar, who figures in the 
accounts of the Tirupati temple, of which one 
prominent one is the Venkaffichala Itihasamala by 
one Anantarya. We shall examine this work in 
some little detail later. In the time of Ramanuja 
there seems to have been considerable improve- 
ment in the kind of organisation and the requisite 



agency for looking after the general management 
of the temple which already existed, and for 
the conduct of worship in the proper form. 
For this period we have some inscriptional 
information also which we shall have to consider 
together with the traditional information. 


these accounts of the lives of the Acharyas, 
Tirupati gets to be mentioned as already a holy 
place of reputation which the Acharyas felt 
called upon to visit in the course of their 
pilgrimages. There is no mention of any ruler 
of the locality, either governors under a higher 
or a suzerain authority, or even rulers of the 
locality who claim to be ruling on their own 
account. Temple worship and provision there- 
for seem to have been more or less a matter for 
the devotees to provide for, and it seems to be 
only private generosity, whether of the ordinary 
people or those in authority, that made provision 
for this. In this period that point must be 
clearly noted. When the assistance of local 
rulers was sought, and when these rulers 
intervened, there again in the great majority of 
cases, the donations, made by these very rulers 
for various purposes, seem to have been made 
in their personal capacity and not as rulers 
exercising authority, except where they interfered 



to correct a wrong or do justice between different 
parties disputing for privileges or other matters 
connected with the temple. 


above account is as far as the Guruparamparas 
go. But Sri Venkatachala Itihasamala, a work 
compiled by one Anantarya contains a detailed 
account of Ramanuja's doings in Tirupati. 
Ramanuja's connection with Tirupati may be 
said to begin with Tirumalai Nambi, whose sister 
Ramanuja's mother was. As was stated above, 
on the authority of the Guruparampara account, 
Tirumalai Nambi went and settled down at 
Tirupati with his two young unmarried sisters 
for doing service to the Grod on the hill, as 
desired by his grandfather and teacher 
5lavandar. He remained there almost as a 
permanent resident, and it is from there that the 
hand of his sister was sought and obtained by 
Ramanuja's father whose own native place was 
Sriperumbudur, not far from Tirupati in point of 
distance. Apart from such visits as he might 
have made on occasions of domestic functions 
where the mother's presence may have been 
called for in Tirupati, the first visit of Ramanuja 
to Tirupati, in his character as a Vaishnava 
teacher at all, was when he went there to get 
from his uncle the esoteric teaching of the 



Ram ay ana as one among the several cardinal 
items of learning that he had to acquire to 
equip himself for the high office of the chief 
Vaishnava teacher of the day. On that occasion 
he is said to have stayed for a year with Tiru- 
malai Nambi, and learnt the Ramayana from him 
and returned to orlrangam. 


second occasion that necessitated Ramanuja's visit 
to Tirupati was later. The worship originally 
organised at Tirupati was in accordance with the 
system of the Vaikhanasa Agama, and was being 
conducted by a descendant of the first temple 
priest Gopinath. In the course of years, in fact 
centuries after, there seems to have been some 
irregularity in the conduct of worship, for which 
the local ruler punished the priests in charge, 
who, in consequence took themselves away from 
the place ; and there seems to have followed as a 
result a certain period of neglect of this work. 
In consequence the temple seems to have 
remained without a recognised guardian, and 
some aivas in or about the locality seem to 
have got into possession of the temple ; at any 
rate, set up claims to it. There apparently was 
not a sufficient community of Vaishnavas to 
resist this claim effectively, and the local ruler, 
described as a Yadavaraja, with his head-quarters 



at Narayaijavarain, wished to put the matter on 
a satisfactory footing after due enquiry. It was 
on that occasion, probably on the representation 
of a few Vaishnavas in the locality, that he sent 
for Ramanuja from orirangam to come to his 
court and meet the oaiva divines who set up 
claims to the temple, and enable him to arrive at 
a correct judgment as to the fact whether the 
temple at Tirupati was a Vishgtu shrine or a Siva 
shrine. Ramanuja responded to the invitation, 
and explained the matter satisfactorily at the 
assembled court, meeting the arguments of the 
aivas in support of their claim, and ultimately 
established, to the satisfaction of the Raja, that 
Venkatesa at Tirupati was beyond doubt a 
representation of Vishnu and not of iva. He 
created a favourable impression upon the local 
ruler, the Yadavaraja, so that he was able to 
make use of the good offices of the Raja for the 
purpose of installing, in a temple at the foot of 
the hill, the image of Grovindaraja, whose shrine 
in the great Siva temple at Chidambaram had 
been ordered to be destroyed, and the principal 
image thrown into the sea, by the Chola monarch 
for the time being, a zealous aiva. Some of 
those connected with the temple however, 
managed to get away from the place carrying 
the movable images of the shrine, and had 
arrived in Lower Tirupati for safety. Through 



Ramanuja's influence, the Yadavaraja set apart 
an unoccupied portion of the town at the foot of 
the hill, built the shrine of Govindaraja there, 
and laid out an Agrahara (Brahman settlement) 
round it, making the necessary arrangements 
for the conduct of the service in the temple. 
The removal of the Govindaraja image from 
Chidambaram is said to have taken place in this 
account just a little before Ramanuja's successful 
mission in connection with the character of the 
shrine of Venkatachala at Tirupati. He is said 
to have done several other things in connection 
with the worship and festivals in the temple at 
Tirupati before he returned from there. If the 
Venkatachala Itihasamala is to be believed, 
Tirurnalai Nambi was still alive and active in 
Tirupati as well as Anantarya, his own disciple 
whom he had deputed for the service of God at 
Tirupati. Anantarya was to look after the 
affairs of the temple under the direction of 
Tirumalai Nambi, now very old. 

RAMANUJA'S LATER VISITS -. Ramanuja is said to 
have visited Tirupati again at a very advanced 
age, and that is said to have been his last visit 
on account of the great age to which he had 
attained by the time. The actual age is given 
as 102 years, and this is equated with the Kali 
ysar 4,220, and the Saka year 1,041. He took 



advantage of his being there on this occasion to 
make certain improvements in the arrangements 
that he had already made by giving the one 
Sanyasin, who was to look after the affairs of the 
temple disinterestedly, two or three assistants 
who were to be bachelors looking after certain 
departments of work. He also instituted the 
chanting of the Prabandha hymns in the proper 
form, and for that, he arranged that a special 
person should be appointed to be in charge. 
This became afterwards the head Sanyasin with 
the title Satakopayati. He was assisted by four 
bachelors who had the management of the 
temple. This was to be supervised and controlled 
by the Yadavaraja, who, in all matters relating 
to the temple, was to act with the advice of 
Anantarya, Ramanuja's own disciple, who is, 
in this account, said to have attained to the 
age of 66. On the basis of this arrangement, 
we may take it that Tirumalai Nambi had 
passed away. 

There are one or two items of further 
arrangements spoken of in connection with 
matters more general, and not exclusively in 
regard to Tirupati, which would indicate that he 
had come to the last years of his life. That 
is about as far as we are concerned with the 
hiatory of the temple at Tirupati with respect to 



Ramanuja. But what we have noted already 
from the Gurupnramparas that Nadamuni paid a 
visit as did his grandson Yamunacharya, are 
borne out by the account in the Venkatachala 
Itihasamala as well. In the absence of confirma- 
tion from inscriptions we have to make the 
best of these accounts, and arrive at our own 
conclusions as to the historical character of 
these incidents. 

HASAMALA ACCOUNTS: We have already noted 
that there are no inscriptions in Tirupati and the 
places dependent on it, during the period, and, 
among the valid reasons for this absence was one 
that probably this region was gradually passing 
under the authority of local chiefs who were 
rather inclined not to recognise the central 
authority and who wished to set themselves up 
in independence ultimately. The Yadavaraya 
who figures in these accounts was probably a 
chieftain who belonged to the family of Yadava- 
rayas, some of whom became famous later on 
in this locality, the best known name being 
the powerful chief Vira Narasimha Yadavaraya, 
feudatory of Kulottunga III and his successor 
Rajaraja III. But before we proceed to examine 
this, we must study one or two preliminary 
questions in regard to the statements in the 
Venkaffichala Itihasamala, and clear the position 



so far as these statements are concerned. 
According to this authority, the first visit to 
Timpati was undertaken for the purpose of 
the Ramayana teaching of Tirumalai Nambi. 
Another detail is mentioned in connection with 
this, and that is a reference to the grant of an 
Agrahara called Balamandya a village in the 
vicinity of Tirupati by a Vitthalaraja, a disciple 
of Ramanuja, which would mean that this, the 
first visit of Ramanuja to Tirupati, should have 
taken place after Ramanuja had returned from 
what is now Mysore, to which he had to betake 
himself in fear of the Chola monarch's anger, 
because of the Vaishnavas of rirangam, the 
disciples of Ramanuja, not subscribing to the 
Saiva doctrine that " Siva is the Supreme 
Deity. " Then the second visit comes in rather 
close to the destruction of the Govindaraja 
temple at Chidambaram, and for the third visit 
the Itihasamala gives specific dates. We shall 
have to examine this carefully in the light of 
what is known of the life of Ramanuja with a 
view to appraising the actual value of these 
statements for purposes of history. The Guru- 
parampara date for Ramanuja's birth is the Saka 
year 939, in the Christian era A. D. 1017. The 
same Guruparamparas give us the date that, in 
the aka year 1021, the temple at Tirunaraya^a- 
puram was built, and the image duly installed 



with the countenance of this Vitthalaraya, who 
had already become a disciple of Ramanuja. 
This date would correspond to the year 
A. D. 1099. Of course, the actual date given for 
his third visit is based apparently upon this 
Guruparampara date, and therefore works out 
correctly for this date. But our difficulty centres 
round certain known historical facts, two of 
which relating to Ramanuja are established facts 
of history. The first of these two facts is as to 
when Ramanuja had to take himself away from 
jSrlrangam for safety, and in consequence, came 
into contact with, and secured the good-will of, 
Vitthaladevaraya, the ruler of that territory at 
the time. Vitthaladevaraya is obviously the 
name of Bittideva, which is the Kannada form of 
the Sanskrit Vishnudeva. Of course after getting 
into association with Ramanuja, he is given the 
Vaishnava form of the name Vishnu vardhana, 
which is not altogether far from the original 
name of the monarch, the addition merely indi- 
cating that he had become a Vaishnava and 
promoted the cause of Vaishnavism. Taking 
the Guruparampara account itself, it mentions 
this Vitthaladeva as the ruling monarch at the 
time, and he is brought into contact with 
Ramanuja while he was still in residence at the 
village Tondanur, a few miles from the railway 
station of French Rocks of to-day, in connection 



with a domestic matter of Vitthaladeva's family. 
It seems a daughter of this ruler was possessed, 
and all the Jaina divines at court and elsewhere, 
were not able to raise the ghost and free the 
young lady from its clutches. Ramanuja is 
supposed to have effected this successfully, and 
in gratitude therefor the ruler became a disciple 
of Ramanuja giving up Jainism which was his 
former religion. It is after this incident that 
Ramanuja got to know of the image buried at 
Melkottai and installed it in a temple built for 
the purpose in the locality. The precise date 
given for that is, as we have already noted, at 
the commencement, the equivalent of A. D. 1099. 
It is this date that actually runs against what is 
known from inscriptions and history. At this 
date A. D. 1099, Vitthaladeva was yet a prince, 
and his father who gives himself the titles 
of a feudatory of the Chalukya empire under 
Vikramaditya VI, had just died. He was suc- 
ceeded in the position by an elder brother of 
Bittideva holding only a subordinate position 
like that of his other brother. It was about 
A. D. 1106 at the earliest that he became ruler in 
his own right, even in a subordinate capacity as 
a feudatory of the Chalukya empire. We have 
inscriptions of date A. D. 1117 stating that the 
temple of Narayana at Belur was completed,* and 

* Epigraphica Oamatica, Hassan, Vol. Belur, 58 and 41. 



the image of God was installed in it. The year 
before that A. D. 1116 Vishnuvardhana's general 
Grangaraja successfully drove the Cholas out of 
Mysore and captured Talakkad. * If Ramanuja 
met him as ruler in the locality in which he is 
said to have spent his time of exile in Mysore, it 
must have been after A. D. 1106. It is very 
probable that Bittideva was in no position to 
do anything for Ramamija or Vaishnavism till 
much later when his whole attention was centred 
on releasing Southern Mysore from the grip of 
the Cholas. There seems to be therefore a 
discrepancy of about 15 or 16 years in regard 
to this particular date. 


There is one other detail in connection with this 
matter which we get from the Guruparamparas, 
namely that Ramanuja returned to Srirangam, 
from this locality where he had resided for about 
25 years, on hearing that the Chola monarch for 
the time being, having had an attack of 
carbuncle, died from the effects of it. Of course, 
the Vaishnavas regard this as a visitation from 
God Vishnu for his disservice, and dub him 
Krimikanta Chola. The Chola contemporary of 
Ramanuja at this period, and the Chola who was 
responsible for Ramanuja's taking himself away 

* Epigraphica Carnatica, Vol. for Mysore, Ma\avalle 31. 



from orirangam to the Mysore country, could 
have been no other than Kulottunga I, who was 
by no means a fanatic aiva. He may have been 
a ISaiva and he may have been zealous in the 
pursuit of his religion ; but we have indubitable 
records that he was anything but a fanatic, as 
arrangements were made for the worship of God 
Ranganatha at a particular festival at Orirangam, 
and the inscription is dated in his reign *, and 
mentions him as the ruling sovereign. This 
would mean that in very Srirangam, which was 
the place of Ramanuja, Kulottunga allowed the 
freedom to the Vaishnavas to make their own 
arrangements for worship even to the extent of 
providing for the recital of certain sections of 
the Prabandha. Notwithstanding this, it is not 
impossible to conceive that he invited Ramanuja 
for a discussion, or religious disputation, as 
against a oaiva controversialist, and punished 
the two Vaishnavas who went instead, in the 
manner described by putting their eyes out, not 
so much on account of differences in religion as 
to punish the impertinence of the answer that 
was actually given by the stout-hearted disciple 
of Ramanuja, Kurattalvan, who met the thesis 
that " iva is the Supreme " by an almost 
blasphemous play upon words that the measure 

* South Ind. Ins, III, 70, pp. 148-152. 



Drona was higher than the measure &iva 9 iva 
being the name of Grod and of a grain measure 
alike. Then it was felt that Ramanuja's position 
in rirangam was dangerous, and he had to get 
away from there. If he remained anything like 
25 years out of rirangam and returned 
thereto only after the death of the ruler, the 
ruler under reference could be 110 other than 
Kulottunga I, who died some time about 
A. D. 1118-20, A. D. 1118 being the earliest 
known year of his successor Vikrama Chola, 
who was a Vaishnava. It is probable that 
Ramanuja's building of the temple at Melkottai 
may have been some time after A. D. 1106 and 
before A. D. 1116. The date A. D. 1099 for this 
seems impossible. 


MEULOTTA BY RAMANUJA. In the traditional 
accounts of the Guruparampara, while it is 
possible that there should be errors in regard 
to the precise dating of events, as these were 
compiled generations later, the general trend 
of the story is likely to be more or less correct. 
On this assumption we may take it that 
Ramanuja went away to what is now Mysore, and 
remained there for a period of about a quarter 
of a century more or less as t 
state it. He might have rem 
and even gone about teaching ai 


msrosr OF 

together a number of disciples devoted to 
him. It would be impossible for him to have 
constructed a temple like that at Melkotta, 
not a big temple that it now is, but even a 
comparatively small shrine, without the counte- 
nance of the local authority, arid therefore we 
may well take it that that was undertaken after 
Ramanuja had gained the good-will and perhaps 
even the esteem of a devotee of Vishnu in the 
person of Vitthaladevaraya. As we have a 
specific date for his building the Vishnu shrine 
at Belur in A. D. 1117, we may perhaps 
safely take it that the temple at Melkotta was 
founded just a few years earlier, say, about 
A. D. 1015, when certainly Bittideva was the 
ruler, and was actively engaged in the locality 
round Mysore in the course of his conquest of 
that part of the country from the Cholas. 
This would mean a discrepancy of about 
fifteen or sixteen years in the date given by 
the Guruparampara for the foundation of the 
Melkotta temple. This event perhaps happened 
somewhere about A. D. 1115, rather than 
A. D. 1099. It is the Guruparampara of the 
Tritiya Brahmatantrasvamin that gives the date 
aka 1021 precisely for this. But the other 
: &$ru$arampara of Pinbalagiya Jiyar sets down 
the date #s Saka 1012, making the year 
the other one, which is impossible, 



as Bahudanya equates with Saka 1021 , and 
cannot therefore with Saka 1012. A discrepancy 
in the precise date therefore seems not merely 
possible, but is proved by this difference between 
the authorities. If Ramanuja returned to Sriran- 
gam soon after hearing of the death of the 
Chola, who was responsible for sending him 
away from there, it must have been at the 
earliest after A. D. 1118, it may be after 
A. D. 1120, which would agree fairly well with 
the date somewhere about A. D. 1115, for the 
foundation of the Melkotta temple. 

RANGAM. The statement in the Venkatachala 
Itihasamala, which seems to couple Ramanuja's 
first visit to Tirupati, to learn the secret teaching 
of the Ramayana from his ancle, with the 
fact he had already got the grant of land of 
Balamandya, a village near Tirupati from 
Vitthaladevaraya seems highly improbable. 
Ramanuja was, under the instruction of his great 
grandfather Slavandar, being gradually equipped 
for the position of the chief Vaishnava teacher 
at $rirangam by acquiring from the eight 
disciples of Alavaiidar who each one had been 
entrusted with the esoteric teachings of the one 
or the other of the main Vaishnava scriptures, 
had begun acquiring these comparatively early 
in his life, after having been duly installed in 



Srirangam. It seems unlikely that this took 
place so late as after his return from Mysore. 
It was probable that he had acquired this before 
his name could be put forward as a Vaishnava 
teacher of reputation, whose subscription to the 
Saiva doctrine could be regarded as of decisive 
importance. So Ramanuja's first visit to Tirupati 
must have been pretty early in his life soon 
after lie left Conjeevaram and went and settled 
down in Srirangam as yet not quite the chief 
Vaishnava teacher; while Anandalvar's going 
over to Ranianuja to be his disciple might well 
have been after his return from Mysore. That 
an Ayrahara had been established in Balamandya 
at his request by Vitthaladevaraya, is itself 
improbable as this village was near Tirupati 
which was not then in the Hoysala territory. 
Anantarya may have been one of the principal 
Vaishnavas who might have settled in that 
Agrahara. The Itihasamala statement seems to 
confound the two as apparently Anantarya was 
asked to go and settle down in Tirupati, probably 
because Ramanuja's uncle, Tirumalai Nambi, had 
reached to ripe old age and could not be expected 
to continue his service, which involved a con- 
siderable amount of physical strain, for long. 
Counting therefore the 25 years' stay of 
Ramanuja in Hoysala territory backwards from 
the date A. D. 1120, it would bring us to some 



time about A. D. 1095, for him to leave Srirangam 
under fear of death through the ill-will of the 
Chola emperor. There is no obvious objection 
to this date from the circumstances of Ramamija's 
history, which would mean that he left the 
Chola country about A. D. 1095 and returned 
to it soon after A. D. 1120. 


His second visit is the really epoch-making visit 
to Tirupati. We stated already that he was 
invited to go there by the Yadavaraja for the 
time being, as his name is not specifically 
mentioned to us, to argue on behalf of the 
Vaishnavas against the claims set up by the 
!aivas that the temple on the hill was a Siva 
temple. It was also stated that this contention 
was raised, as worship in the temple had been 
neglected for some considerable time by the 
Vaikhanasa priests having abandoned the place, 
and the prescribed worship in the temple having 
been given up. It was this that gave the 
opportunity for the Saivas to take over the 
worship and claim possession of the temple. 
That might well have happened in the latter 
part of the reign of Kulottunga I, and in 
consequence of the same wave of Saiva 
fanaticism which turned out Ramanuja from the 
Chola country. It was about that time that 
ti had become a great centre of the 



aivas. Ramanuja's cousin, the son of the other 
sister of Tirumalai Nambi, who, as Govinda 
Bhatta, was a fellow student of Ramamija 
who had afterwards become a fanatical Saiva 
and was in residence in Kalahasti. He was so 
fanatically attached to Saivism that Tiruinalai 
Nambi found it very difficult to wean him 
from his attachment to Siva, and reclaim 
him to the fold of the Vaishnavas as the story 
has it. He had just then been reclaimed and 
Ramanuja was able to take him with him after 
completing his Ramayana studies with Tirumalai 
Nambi, according to the Guruparampara account. 
Therefore there was a considerable amount of 
$aiva fanaticism in the locality, and, if the 
actul Vaishnava priests at Tirupati failed to 
discharge the functions, it was possible for the 
Saivas to step into their place, and claim the 
shrine as their own. Since Ramamija moved 
away from rirangam, the body of Vaishnavas 
at the place had been somewhat cowed down and 
could not put forward or sustain a claim to speak 
for the Vaishnavas as a whole. It was probably 
the return of Ramanuja to ^rlrangarn, and the 
accession of a Vaishnava ruler like Vikrama 
Chola to the Chola throne, that put new heart 
into the Vaishnavas and made them claim the 
temple on the hill as their own. This must have 
happened some time after Ramanuja returned 



to orlrangam, and had sufficient time to install 
himself in his place and make his position secure 
there. As a matter of fact the Venkatachala 
Itihasamala states it that while RSmanuja was 
still in Tirupati, the news of the removal of the 
image of Govindaraja in the Govindaraja shrine 
in Chidambaram reached Tirupati, Ramanuja 
heard of this from those who had run away for 
shelter to Tirupati, carrying the movable images 
from the shrine. For this event a precise dating 
is possible, as it is actually mentioned in Tamil 
literature in three separate works of the poet 
Ottakkuttar, who was tutor and governor to 
Kulottunga II, the son and successor of Vikrama 
Chola who ascended the throne in A. D. 1135, 
and whose abhisheka must have taken place 
probably that year. So about A. D. 11B5 ought 
to be the time when the images should have 
reached Tirupati. At that time Ramanuja was 
high in influence at the court of the local ruler ? 
Yadavaraja, and had been ordering things at 
Tirupati, largely not only for the conduct of 
worship as oi' old, but even to provide the temple 
,rith all that was necessary to carry on regular 
worship throughout the year, the periodical 
worship, provision for festivals, improvement of 
he town itself with a view to these, and much 
else that went to improve the amenities of the 
town to make it possible for the people there to 



live comfortably all the year round and render 
the services to the temple which must have 
become much more constant and regular. It 
was then that the Yadavaraja undertook the 
building of the Grovindaraja shrine and lay out 
the Agrahara which he called Ramanujapura. 
Therefore then the second visit of Ramanuja to 
Tirupati should have taken place some eight or 
ten years after his return to Srirangam, say> 
after A. D. 1130. If the Yadavaraya, whose 
capital is said to have been Narayanavaram not 
far from Tirupati, had been a ruler of such 
influence in the locality as to have helped 
Ramanuja, we can well expect some record of 
his doings, which would normally be set up in the 
temple in the form of inscriptions. There is 
no inscription referable to the time of any 
Yadavaraya, and the only record of the period is 
the one inscription of the 16th year of Vikrama 
Chola dated A. D. 1117, and this has reference 
to the oiva temple at Tirupaladisvaram, Sri 
parasaresvara, in lower Tirupati. We shall have 
to find an explanation for this. 


OF RAMANUJA. We have records of a Yadava- 
raya of the time with whom we can, in our 
present state of knowledge, safely equate all 
these doings to assist Ramanuja to put the daily 
and annual functions in the temple on a footing 



of assured purpose from time to time. The 
actual circumstances under which this was 
called for has already been stated. Prom all 
that was said before, it would be clear that, so 
far, the organisation for conducting worship in 
the temple of Tirupati seems to have been more 
or less of a private matter and left entirely to 
the community concerned to manage. It seems 
to have been entirely the doing of the Vaishnavas 
of the locality interested in the matter as actual 
worshippers of the deity installed in the temple. 
Except the earliest incidents connected with the 
almost legendary Tondaman Chakravarti, there 
is no mention of any state authority or royal 
personage having done anything towards this 
organisation of worship in the temple, or 
provision therefor, through all the long period of 
history that we have covered. It seems to have 
been left entirely to the Vaikhanasa priestly 
family, or it may be a few families, who had 
been brought in there for conducting the worship 
according to that school of Vaishnava Agama 
worship. In our comparatively scanty, and 
broken pieces of, information which are put 
together, there is no reference to this particular 
so far. Such grants as have been made to the 
temple and there have been a number were 
more or less private grants which were allowed 
to be managed by the residents of the locality, 



StSnattSr as they are called, who had the 
management of the temple in their own hands, 
as in fact was the case actually in respect of 
shrines in villages right up to the end of the last 
century almost. Royal or official interference 
of a necessary or compulsory character, would 
be invoked only on occasions of extraordinary 
trouble, or dissension beyond the power of the 
local people to settle. The intervention sought 
of the local ruler, Yadavaraya was in this case 
of that particular character, on the basis of such 
information as we have access to for the present. 
There is an inscription of the 17th year of 
Vikrama Chola, which would bring us to the 
date A. D. 1135, of a Yadavaraya by name 
Grhattideva who was ruling in this locality, very 
probably as a governor it may be a feudatory 
of the ruling Chola for the time being, and that 
is, Vikrama Chola. In the records just a few 
years later, he assumes the title probably he was 
given that title Kulottungasola- Yadavaraya, 
which would mean he continued to hold the 
office under Kulottunga II, the son and successor 
of Vikrama Chola. More than that, he apparently 
continued to be conducting the administration 
loyally, and earned the appreciation of his 
sovereign so far as to have been conferred this 
title of honour. This is a point of some 
importance in this context, as that would go a 



great way towards explaining why he did not put, 
on record any inscriptions in the temple of what 
he did by way of organising worship, and 
even making benefactions to the temple. This 
Ghattideva seems to have been the actual ruler 
during the period with which we are concerned, 
as his records seem to go down to A. D. 1150. 
He is said to have had the title Yadava Narayana, 
which perhaps need not be given a Vaishnava 
significance. Some time later we hear of a 
son of his, a Rajamalla Yadavaraya, otherwise 
Bhujabala Siddharasa; but his records take him 
to rather late in the reign of Kulottunga 11L 
Therefore we may take it safely that it was this 
Ghattideva, the feiidatory of both Vikrama 
Chola and Kulottunga II, that was actually 
the Yadavaraya who called in the assistance of 
Ramanuja to settle the dispute in the Tirupati 
temple Not only that, he interested himself 
further in putting the whole course of temple 
management and worship in order through 
Ramanuja and the community of Vaishnavas in 
Tirupati. We may perhaps take it that he did 
not, as rulers of his standing before him did, 
think of putting on record what he did to the 
temple at Tirupati, as he might have felt 
such a thing might have been displeasing to 
the sovereign, who showed himself to be an 
enthusiastic follower of Saivism personally, and 


what is really more, what he did to the Vishnu 
temple both at Tirupati on the hill, and the town 
below, were acts which might have been 
regarded as going against some of the acts of the 
suzerain. It is just possible that Kulottunga II 
as a Hindu sovereign might not have actually 
objected to his doing what he actually did, but 
it would be justifiable if the Yadavaraya felt shy 
that these acts of his may not be actively 
approved at headquarters. This Grhattideva 
Yadavaraya therefore, the first name among the 
Yadavaraya rulers to come to our notice in 
inscriptions early in the 12th century A. D., 
seems to have been the actual ruler, who was 
contemporary with Ramanuja. 


RAMANUJA. Having regard to all these various 
circumstances, we are entitled to infer that the 
most active part in the life of Ramanuja in 
Tirupati must be the years following the 
accession of Kulottunga II to the Chola empire. 
This was his second visit. According to the 
Vtnkafichala Itihasamala, he paid a third visit 
when he was Iu2 years of age, and then regarded 
it as no more possible for him to be visiting 
Tirupati as frequently as hitherto, and made 
certain arrangements in order to assure per- 
manence to the arrangements that he had made, 
and returned to rlrangam. The same work 



says that he paid afterwards two or three flying 
visits before he died. In the traditional Guru- 
parampara accounts, he is supposed to have 
lived 120 years, the length of a mahadaSa. 
Without taking it too literally, we might regard 
Ramanuja's was a long life running past a 
century, it may even be some years more than 
that, and whithout attempting to be too precise 
where perhaps too much precision may not be 
possible, we may say roughly that the active 
period of Ramanuja's life covered a century from 
A. D. 1050 to A. D. 1150. Going by the precise 
statements given above, his 102nd year would 
correspond to the year A. D. 1119 which we have 
shown to be impossible for the precise events 
recorded, of which we can be certain in regard 
to dating If in A. D. 1119, he was 102, he must 
have lived on 18 years longer which would 
mean that he passed away some time about 
the year A. D. 1139, which, having regard to the 
precise dating of the accession of Kulottunga II, 
would make it much too early. But if we take 
in the 15 or 16 years of discrepancy by way 
of antedating that we have noted already, it 
would mean that he actually passed away in 
A. D. 1155, and this date, it is just possible may 
be correct. 





LINE. The main items of his arrangements for 
the conduct of worship in Tirupati, and what he 
did for the improvement both of the shrine and 
the town, may be summarised as from the 
Venkatachala Itihasamala. The purpose for 
which Ramanuja was invited to Tirupati on this 
occasion was to meet the arguments of the 
aivas at the Court of the Yadavaraya, in 
justification of their claims to the possession 
of the temple on the hill, as a shrine dedicated 
to civa and as such entitled to Saiva guardian- 
ship. They put forward that certain peculiar 
features of the temple, both in the features of 
the image itself and in the details of the worship 
conducted, constituted a claim to the image 
being regarded as that of Siva, and the shrine 
therefore a aiva shrine. It is hardly necessary, 
for our present purpose, to go through the whole 
series of arguments which Ramanuja urged in 
reply to give satisfaction to the Saivas, quoting 
largely from the Pauranic and other authorities, 
drawing largely on the Prabandha works 



also. He was therefore able completely to 
satisfy the Yadavaraja that the features pointed 
out were features by no means peculiar to Siva 
alone, and forms of Vishnu with those features 
are not impossible either of contemplation or of 
representation. But even then, the Saivas had 
recourse to this final argument that the Yadava- 
raja had been prejudiced against them, not by 
force of the arguments of Ramanuja, but by 
some kind of an occultic influence which they 
actually averred Ramanuja exercised over him. 
To put the matter beyond all doubt, it is said 
that Ramanuja suggested that the ultimate 
decision might be left to God himself, and it 
was then that they got prepared the weapons 
peculiar to oiva and Vishnu which were to be 
placed in the sanctum of the temple when the 
night worship should be over, and the sanctum 
locked up and sealed, so that nobody might 
have access to the place. It was agreed that 
whichever of the weapons the image of the 
Grod had assumed when the shrine should be 
opened in the morning, would indicate the 
nature of the deity there. Certain accounts, of 
a popular character generally say that Ramanuja 
assumed the form of a serpent, as he was him- 
self an emanation of Ananta, the serpent, and set 
the conch and the disc in the hands of Vishnu 
overnight. But the Venkaffichala ItihSsamala is 




quite content with merely saying that Ramanuja 
spent the night in contemplation upon the deity, 
and in prayer that the deity might prove the 
truth by assuming the Vaishnava weapons, as 
he had no honest doubt whatever that the deity 
was a Vaishnava deity, and had been so 
regarded almost from the time that the image 
was found and a temple was erected to house it. 
That done, it was his responsibility as head of 
the Vaishnavas, and of the Raja, who was the 
ruler of the locality, to see to it that whatever 
had to be done in the temple had been laid 
down, with proper arrangements made for 
carrying them out through the year. Naturally 
this would involve arrangements for the worship 
as it had so far been conducted continuously, and 
wherever necessary to revive items of temple 
ritual, which may have fallen into desuetude. 
Some few new items which seemed to Ramanuja 
very appropriate were also introduced in his 
time and continued ever since. 


the seven divisions of the work, &rl Venkatachala 
Itihasamala, the first three sections or stabakas 
as they are called, are concerned with the 
discussion as to the Vaishnava character of the 
image. The remaining four stabakas are taken 
up with what Ramanuja did for the temple, and, 



after him, his disciple Anantarya. Since ins- 
criptions of the next following century do 
mention the gardens and other features named 
after Ramanuja and Anantarya, we may take it 
that Ramanuja's doings there and Anantarya's 
presence are matters which need not be regarded 
as historically doubtful. Nos. 171 and 173 from 
the Tirupati temple mention, without a doubt 
Anandalvan, and No. 175 mentions equally 
clearly the Tirunandavana (flower-garden) of 
Ramanuja. Ramanuja's effort therefore as to 
what he should do consisted first of all in the 
publication of the Yadavaraya's award that the 
shrine was a Vishnu shrine, and to restore to it 
the rituals of worship, etc., according to the 
Vaikhanasa Igarna as of old, after performing 
the initial purificatory rite of the great ablution 
of the temple, etc. He is said next to have 
repaired the tower rising over the temple called 
Ananda Nilaya in accordance with the pres- 
criptions of the same Agama. He is said to have 
made a gold necklet containing an image of 
Padmavati, and put it round the neck of the Grod 
and restored the image to its position. This is 
the first part. The next item that called for his 
attention was the performance of the weekly 
ablutions, and the kind of face-mark with which 
the God's image was to be decorated. The 
ablution given to the God on every Friday 



was in accordance with the Ananda Sainhita 
of the Agamas of the Vaikhanasas. The upright 
face-mark for the God (Ordhva Pundra) was 
prescribed to be of the camphor mixture called 
Pacchaikarpuram, and for three days from Mon- 
day onwards, of the white earth generally called 
Namam. All the jewels and wearing apparel of 
the God were to be removed on Thursday, and 
the God was to be dressed only in flowers 
completely. He instituted, that during this 
process the Nacchiyar Tirumoli, one of collection 
in the Prabandha was to be recited. For the 
continuance of the worship in the proper form, 
and, according to the practices of the Vaikhanasa 
Agama, he entrusted the work to such of the 
descendants of the early Vaikhanasa priest 
Bimbadhara, who, having received the puri- 
ficatory ceremony of Vaishnava initiation from 
himself, were to conduct worship. He made 
arrangements for the installation of images of 
the Alvars ; but, as several of these by themselves, 
had stated that it would be profanation to walk 
up the hill, Ramanuja arranged to install their 
images in Tirupati at the foot of the hill in the 
shrine of Govindaraja which had recently been 


The most important item of Ramanuja's work 
on. this occasion, wap the building of this 



Govindaraja shrine. The temple on the top of the 
hill was dedicated to Vishnu in the form in which 
he is believed to reside in Vaikunfoa (Vishnu's 
Heaven). There the God is in the standing 
posture, with all the attributes and attendants 
usual to him, in Vaikuntha. The Govindaraja in 
Chidambaram was believed, and the belief conti- 
nues even now, was the representation of God 
as he sleeps on Ananta, the great serpent, on the 
4 ocean of milk '. It is upon this feature that 
the young Chola monarch made a pun in his 
remark that the natural home of that God was 
the sea, not the front yard of the temple of 
Nataraja. So when the movable images from 
Chidambaram had been brought by the Vaishna- 
vas, and the Yadavaraja iindertook to build a 
temple to house them, Vishnu, as he lay abed 
on * the ocean of milk ', was installed in the 
temple at the foot of the Tirupati hill. The 
Yadavaraja not only built the shrine at the end 
of the town, but built houses round it on the 
four sides, and, presenting them to good 
Brahmans, made an Agrahara round the temple 
calling the place Ramanujapura, which became 
thereafter an important locality, as he took care 
to provide everything that was required to 
constitute a good town out of it. Ram an uj a 
arranged for a small shrine for Goda within the 
temple, and taking that occasion the YadavarSja 



instituted two annual festivals in that temple, 
one in Ani (August September) and the other 
in Margali (December January). Having done 
this, the Yadavaraja invited Tirumalai Nambi 
and Anantarya to come and reside in the houses 
which he had built in Lower Tirupati. 

THE TEMPLE WATER SUPPLY. The temple on the 
hill had been provided, soon after the foundation 
of the temple, with wells for the temple services 
and for the purpose of the garden by one 
Rangadasa. They had fallen into disrepair and 
got partly destroyed. Rainanuja restored these 
two wells. On the bank of the step well, he 
set up images of Srmivasa and Bhudevi, and 
arranged that the flowers etc., used in the temple 
service should be thrown into the well as sacred 
to Bhudevi. Then there seems to have been a 
difficulty for the supply of good water, and 
one of the services rendered by .Tirumalai 
Nambi ever since he settled down there, was to 
bring the supply of water from Papanasa, some 
distance away. On the occasion of Alavandar's 
visit, Tirumalai Nambi was not able to bring 
the water owing to illness, and, to avoid the 
inconvenience for the future, ilavandar obtained 
divine sanction to use the water from the 
kitchen-well dug by Rangadasa within the 
temple .premises for the kitchen service. This 



was called Sundarasvami well, the water from 
which was accepted as equivalent to the 
water from the Papanasa by God himself by 
5lavandar's prayer. According to the original 
story, which is recorded in all the Puranas, 
the image of the God was discovered under 
a tamarind tree by the Sudra Rangadasa, and 
when the Tondaman Chakravarti afterwards 
wanted to build a shrine, he had to take note of 
this, and in planning the temple, he found this 
original tamarind tree and another Champaka 
tree, the flower from which was used for worship, 
were near each other and limited the extent of 
space on which the temple could be constructed. 
As the Tondaman Chakravarti was much 
exercised about it, the trees moved away from 
each other and widened the space, and thus 
solved the difficulty. Having heard the story, 
Ramanuja made arrangements for the worship 
of these trees within the premises of the shrine. 


The next item that called for Ramanuja's 
attention was a Naga jewel (jewel in the shape of 
a cobra), which was worn on only one arm of the 
God Venkatesa. When he wanted information 
as to how it came about, he was told the story 
that a Gajapati King by name Vira Narasimha, 
was at Tirupati in the course of a pilgrimage, 



which he had undertaken to Ramesvaram. 
Finding that the temple was without a tower, he 
wanted that a great tower should be built, and, 
having ordered the building, he went forward on 
his pilgrimage, and when he returned to Tirupati, 
work on the tower had already reached the first 
stage. At this stage, he had a dream, when he 
was in Tirupati, that Ananta, the great serpent, 
appeared before him and complained that, by 
way of devoted service to God, he was over- 
loading him, as the whole hill was his own body, 
and wished to be spared the trouble. After 
taking advice, he stopped the tower at the stage 
which it had reached, and in token of Ananta's 
appearance before him, got a representation of 
him made as a jewel, and placed it on one of the 
arms of the God which the God himself had 
accepted. At the same time he was also informed 
that not one but a pair of Naga jewels were 
presented to God Venkatesa on the occasion of 
his marriage with Padmavati by his father-in-law 
Akasaraja. Having regard to this Ramanuja 
asked that the gold Naga jewels should be on 
both hands of Venkatesa. 

SHRINES TO NARASIMHA. Another of the institu- 
tions of Ramanuja is said to be the Nrsimha 
shrine within the premises of the temple. The 
Pauraqic story in regard to this is that God 



Sankara performed a penance to Vishnu-Nrsimha 
who appeared before him and granted his prayer. 
This is said to have taken place on the west 
bank of the Svami Pushkarani, and an attempt 
was made later to build a temple to Siva on the 
spot. The Vaishijavas of the locality objected on 
the ground that a Siva shrine should not be 
built there as God himself had ordered otherwise, 
on the authority of the Puranas. According to 
their story, when the original temple was 
constructed and subsidiary shrines made for 
Vishnu and his attendant deities, Siva requested 
that he might also be allowed accommodation 
on the hill. God Vishnu himself, to whom the 
request was preferred, allotted to Siva a place at 
the foot of the hill on the banks of the Kapila 
Tirtha, and hence they argued it would be 
sacrilege to build a shrine to Siva anywhere 
within the limits of the hill. Ramanuja agreed, 
and, in order to solve even future difficulties 
arising therefrom, provided a shrine within the 
walls of the temple for Nrsimha as this aspect of 
Vishnu was fearsome and frightening to ordinary 
people. He therefore provided a shrine within 
the sanctum of the temple under the tower 
Ananda Nilaya for Nrsimha, and ordained worship 
there. He also arranged for the setting up of 
an image of Nj-simha where Markandeya was 
supposed to have had a vision of Npsimha himself 



in front of the Nrsimha cavern which led by a 
secret passage to the hill. Ramanuja set up an 
image of Nrsimha and built a shrine for the 
image, and arranged worship for that also. 


PERPETUATION. Then follows the story of two 
miracles that God Siinivasa is supposed to have 
performed in respect of Anantarya. The first 
has reference to a hollow in the chin of the 
image, which, according to the story, is said to 
have been caused by Anantarya in the following 
circumstances. Anantarya was engaged in digg- 
ing a small tank for watering his garden. He 
used to make his wife, then pregnant, carry the 
baskets of earth on her head to be thrown at a 
distance. God took pity on her, and, in the 
form of a young bachelor, used to carry the 
basket on his head and relieve Anantarya's wife 
of the labour. Anantarya felt displeased that 
this impertinent bachelor was depriving him and 
his wife of the merit of service to God. When the 
bachelor would not give up what he was doing, 
notwithstanding several requests, he became 
wild and hit him with the butt-end of the shovel 
with which he was digging. The bachelor dis- 
appeared, and when Anantarya went into the 
temple for worship in the evening as usual, he 
noticed the bleeding wound on the spot where 
he hit the bachelor. Taken aback by this, he 



immediately ran out and brought in a herb to 
stop the bleeding, and making a powder from 
out of it filled in the wound and thus stopped 
the bleeding. Pleased with this service of 
Anantarya, God agreed that, as an item of daily 
worship, that depression should be filled with the 
camphor mixture, which is used for his face- 
mark, and ordered that the shovel itself should 
be hung up in a prominent place in front of the 
temple. The other miracle was that Anantarya 
was cultivating a flower-garden with the greatest 
care near the temple. He found that at the 
flowering season, the flowers were all collected 
and used and thrown about, leaving comparatively 
little of it for his own purpose in the morning. 
Being very wroth that somebody should be 
doing this, he kept watch to discover who it was 
that was actually doing it. After six or seven 
failures, he discovered one night a princely 
young man and a young lady to match, 
were disporting themselves in the garden and 
playing with the flowers, etc. The old man ran 
about to capture the young man who dodged 
him and disappeared into the temple. But he 
managed, however, to catch the young lady and 
tied her up to the next champaka tree. As 
became her, she begged of hi,m to release her, 
and pleaded that he should take hold of the man 
and punish him, and not her, whom he might 



regard as his own daughter, and let go. 
Anantarya would not let her go. When the day 
dawned, and the temple servants entered the 
sanctum, ormivasa intimated to them what 
actually took place, and when the story reached 
Anantarya, he was transported beyond bounds ; 
and, taking the flower basket full of flowers and 
carrying Padmavati, the goddess, on his head, he 
entered the temple, and set both of them before 
God. This story is said to have been related to 
Ramanuja, and he ordered that thereafter on the 
occasion of the Purattasi festival, the God may 
be taken to the garden on the seventh day, and 
that Anantarya may be presented with a garland 
of flowers, etc., on the eighth day on the occasion 
of the festival of the car. 

TREE. The next institution of Ramanuja is the 
footprints of God under the tamarind tree half 
way up the hill. It was stated already that 
Ramanuja went to Tirupati to learn the orthodox 
teaching of the Ramayam from his uncle 
Tirumalai Nambi, who under direction of 
Alavandar had been in residence on the hill 
serving God. Since Ramanuja would not go up 
the hill and resided in Lower Tirupati, the 
Nambi had to come down from the hill, and they 
so arranged it that they met somewhere halfway 
up the hill where there was a big shady tamarind 



tree. The Ramayana teaching went on under 
this tree. Tirumalai Nambi was sorry however 
that the discharge of his duty to Ramanuja and 
the community deprived him of the afternoon 
worship of God, a duty which he regarded as 
due from him. In this perplexing position, God 
appeared before him in a dream and told him 
that He would appear before him at the mid-day 
worship where he was, and while Ramanuja 
and the Nambi were engaged in the Ramayana 
lesson, and, at the correct moment of worship in 
the temple on the top of the hill, the footmarks 
of God appeared in front of these two with 
the smell of flowers and basil, and such other 
articles of worship as were thrown at the feet of 
God. Ramanuja thereafter arranged that the 
spot should be held as a place of worship and 
everybody who goes up the hill, on reaching 
this spot should offer worship to rmivasa, crying 
out the name of Govinda. Even Chandalas 
were allowed to go and offer worship there, after 
having bathed in a tank called Chaydala-tlrtha. 


ETC. Ramanuja was also responsible for install- 
ing within the temple of Srlnivasa an image of 
ri Rama as He offered refuge to Vibhlshaija 
just before the war of the .Ramayana. This 
manifestation of God was made in response to the 
prayer of a certain Yogi by name Visvambara 



who lived on the banks of the river Vaigai 
(Sans. Krtamala) to the south-west of Madura, 
at a place called K'alavinkam in Sanskrit (Tarn. 
Kuruvitturaf). Owing to disturbances in the 
locality later on, the Vaishnavas were directed to 
carry the image for protection to Venkatachalam. 
The image was brought to Tirupati as Tirumalai 
Nambi and Ramanuja were engaged in the study 
of that part of the Emnayana. Happy at the 
coincidence, Ramanuja arranged to set up the 
image of Rama as He appeared on that occasion, 
with the addition of an image of Sita also, and 
provided a place of worship for these in the temple. 

The next item in this line is Ramanuja's 
enforcing the old-time worship of Varaha on the 
west bank of the Svami Pushkarani before 
offering worship at the temple of Siinivasa. In 
ordering worship at the temple of Govindaraja, 
Ramanuja also ordained that, as in Venkatachala, 
the temple priests, after the performance of 
the last item of worship overnight, should be 
presented with garlands in the shrine of Vishvak- 
sena, the guardian deity before locking up the 
door for the night. 


The sixth section of the work has reference to the 
association of Tirumalai Nambi and Anantarya 
with Tirupati. In regard to Tirumalai Nambi 


AKASAGANGA-TlRTH AM ( To face page 303 } 


we have already stated how and when he went 
to Tirupati, and what service he was rendering 
there on the hill. One of the items of service to 
which he devoted himself was the carrying of 
water from the Papanasa, a few miles away, for 
the daily ablution of the God. He used to carry 
the water-pot on the head reciting the Periya 
Tirumoli of Tirumangai JLlvar on the way. One 
day he noticed suddenly that the weight on the 
head was diminishing gradually, and discovered 
when he looked at it that the pot was empty. 
Turning back he discovered a young hunter was 
drinking off the water' by deftly making a small 
hole in the earthern pot by means of an arrow. 
To the Nambi's angry question whether it was 
proper that he should do what he did, as the 
water was intended for (rod's service, the hunter 
answered with a provoking nonchalance " 0, 
Grandfather, do not be distressed about the 
water. Here a little way down is a holy pool of 
water, from which you can carry the water for 
the temple service". So saying he went a little 
way ahead and pointed to the Akasaganga, and 
said " This is the holy Ganges water itself, and 
you might bring this daily for Our service ". So 
saying the hunter disappeared. Wondering at 
the exhibition of God's grace to his devotees, he 
became even more" devoted than before, and was 
thereafter carrying water from the Akasaganga 



instead of the more distant PapanaSa. Since 
God himself chose to call him grandfather 
(Tata), the term Tatarya was added as a 
cognomen or title. His descendants thereafter 
were entitled Tataryas or Tatacharyas in conse- 
quence. Tirumalai Nambi had a son whom he 
had named Ramanuja. On his premature death, 
he adopted a son whom he named Kumara 
Tirumalai Nambi, whom the Nambi used to call 
Tata for brevity. It would appear that this 
young man was extremely friendly to everybody 
and received the sobriquet of Tftfappa (the 
friendly one). Hence the family came to be 
known as Tolappa Tatacharya. When Tirumalai 
Nambi passed away, Ramanuja instituted the 
festival in his honour on the day following the 
Adhyayana Utsava during which the Prabhanda 
used to be recited. The festival consisted in 
bathing the image of God, seating the image in 
the Mangalagiri hall, with water brought by 
Vaishnava Brahmans from the Akasaganga 
chanting the Prabhanda of Tirumangai llvar all 
the way in procession, and presenting tiatakopa 
(the sin-destroying crown surmounted by a pair 
of sandals). 


Anantarya we have already stated that he came 
to Ramanuja as a disciple from his native place 


Balamandya in the country near Tirupati, and 
that he volunteered service to go to Tirupati on 
Ramanuja's reqiiisition. His service consisted in 
making a flower-garden and supplying flowers 
for the purpose of the daily worship of the God. 
Having heard that Yamunacharya during his 
stay there at Tirupati had a little cottage near 
the temple from which he supplied flower for 
the God, Anantarya built a mandapa there in 
which he set up an image of Yamunacharya. 
Anantarya used to bring the flowers there, string 
them up and take them over for service to the 
temple. He had a son whom he named Ramanuja 
who used to assist his father in this service. 


TIRUPATI, ETC. The other festivals instituted by 
Ramanuja are collected together in the 7th 
section. Ramanuja had to make certain regulat- 
ions in regard to residents at Tirupati, as that 
was considered an act of desecration on the 
authority of the Puranas and the Prabandhas, 
which he adopted in his own conduct. So he 
laid down that those who were engaged in the 
immediate service of God should alone reside 
on the hill, all else even among the devotees 
living at the foot. The second regulation was 
that those resident there, and the pilgrims that 
go there, all of them should take for food what 
was provided by the temple after the temple 



service was over. The third regulation was that 
those resident on the hill should not grow flower- 
plants for purposes of household worship, but 
should use only those used for worship in the 
temple. The next regulation was that when one 
of the residents on the hill is about to die, he 
should be taken down the hill before death. 
The next regulation laid down is that the 
animals and birds on the hill should not be 
killed in hunting as they were regarded as 
creatures specially devoted to God. The next 
rule laid down is that those going up the hill 
should not use vehicles for carrying them, and 
should not wear sandals or other protection for 
the feet. The whole precincts of the hill were 
marked as all the distance from the Kapila Tlrtha 
at the foot of the hill to the Svami Pushkaram on 
the top, with a radius all round the Svami 
Pushkarani of one yojana, seven to eight miles. 
It was also laid down that, within this area, no 
temples should be built for any other God. 
These regulations that Ramanuja made were 
put before God himself for His approval by 
Tirumalai Nambi and Anantarya, and promul- 
gated accordingly. 


For the purpose of carrying out these regulations 
and seeing to the regular conduct of worship, 



( To /ace pa*, 306 ) 


etc., Ramanuja wanted a disinterested person as 
superintendent. He therefore arranged that a 
bachelor of good qualifications should be nomi- 
nated for the purpose. The person chosen must 
be a man of learning, should be capable of 
advising the local ruler, and should be free from 
any desire. He therefore nominated a bachelor 
accordingly, as prescribed in the ParameSvara 
Samhita, gave him the image of Rama for 
worship, and entrusted him with the Hanuman 
seal, a seal with the device of Hanuman on it for 
sealing up the treasury, and was given the key 
with which to lock up the temple for the night. 
In ordering the affairs regarding the temple, he 
was to take advice of Tiumalai Nambi and 
Anantarya all the time that their advice was 
available. This bachelor was also given a 
pennon with a bell-mark as his ensign, and the 
Yadavaraja was to support his authority. 


LAST VISIT. When again he visited Tirupati 
for the last time almost, he found this arrange- 
ment working satisfactorily so far. Tirumali 
Nambi had passed away some time since, and 
Anantarya was getting old ; and he therefore 
found the work too much for the bachelor 
Sany&sin. He thought it was necessary to give 
him two or three assistants, as there was work 
enough for three or four. He also wanted that 



a special service should be instituted such as is 
described in the Tiruvaymoli of Nammalvar. 
With a view to this in particular, he set up a 
Sanyasin under the name Satakopa Yati, who was 
given charge of what the bachelor had hitherto 
been doing. Then choosing four bachelors from 
among the disciples of Anantarya, he appointed 
them to assist this Sanyasin. Advising the 
Yadavaraja to see to the affairs of the temple 
being managed satisfactorily and instructing 
him to act according to the advice of Anantarya, 
Ramanuja left Tirupati finally for Srlrangam. 
For the future he ordained that the management 
should be Anantarya's as long as he lived, and 
after him some one of his descendants. The 
Satakopa Yati representing Ramanuja himself, 
arid some representatives of Tirumalai Nambi to- 
gether, should have the whole management. He 
also wanted that one of the representatives 
should be of the atamarshana Gotra as 
representative of Nadamuni and Yamunacharya. 


PRABANDHA. Some time later Ramanuja passed 
away, and, on hearing this, Anantarya set up 
an image of Ramanuja with the permission of 
God orinivasa, and instituted a festival with the 
recital of Ramanuja Nurrandadi (the centum 
on Ramanuja) during the Adhyayana Utsavam. 
On one occasion one Srirangaraja who used to 



recite the Prabandha in orirangam and was also 
accustomed to instructing Ramanuja himself in 
the Prabandham went on a visit to Tirupati. 
On the occasion of his worship in the sanctum, 
he sang the Tiruvaymoli of the Alvar. At 
the end of it, Grod commanded him to sing a few 
verses from the first Alvars, and, having received 
the holy water and prasada, he returned to 
Tirumali Nambi and Anantarya. Since his 
visit the Adhyayana Utsavam in Tirupati was 
organised, and the chanting even of Periyalvar's 
Tirumoli. He then left for orirangam. To 
continue this work a special man was appointed 
who came to be called Srl-Saila Vignapti 
Karya (the official to make petitions to the God 
of the hill) on the analogy of a Srirangaraja 
Vignapti Karya, whose function was the recital 
of the Tiruvaymoli. 


according to the Itihasamala, were the arrange- 
ments that Ramanuja made in Tirupati for the 
conduct of worship in the temple. As would 
naturally be expected there is in these things a 
certain amount of miracle mixed up with several 
matter of fact arrangements. It would be rather 
difficult to rationalise over the miracles where 
we are actually concerned with the devotees 
who believed in them. Any process of rationr 



alisation of these would seem therefore to be out 
of place. We may or may not believe in these. 
We have nothing by means of which to say 
categorically whether Ramanuja and his com- 
panions believed in them or not. We shall have 
to leave them there. Even where they are 
miracles, the institutions based on them remain. 
Therefore we might pass over the miracles side 
of it without further notice, and consider, so 
far as the history of the temple is concerned, 
whether Ramanuja did or could have done all 
that is ascribed to him. We have already 
indicated that, in less than a century of time, 
some of these institutions get to be referred 
to in inscriptional records in parts of the 
Tirupati temple which may not be altogether 
late structures, Tirupati having received com- 
paratively little addition till much later times. 
From what we have already stated above, we 
have enough justification for taking it that 
Ramanuja did play an important part in the 
organisation of worship in the temple at Tirupati, 
and that he had occasion to do it at the time 
indicated. The Venkatachala Itihasamclla seems 
to be a work composed at a period much later 
than Ramanuja, it may be ; but even so, it 
records the traditions coming down to the time, 
and, at the very best, it would be a mere effort 
at explaining the institutions that actually 



existed in the temple. So the institutions were 
there, whether the origin of these had anything 
miraculous to support it or not. For instance, 
the miraculous occurrences in connection with 
Anantarya a modern reader may well consider 
could not have been readily believed in the time 
of Ramanuja. Even this would be taking too 
much for granted. Devotees do believe in 
miracles, and, if they do believe in them and set 
up institutions in consequence, it is none of our 
business to call the institutions of festivals them- 
selves unhistorical. We shall perhaps see, in 
the course of the whole history of the temple, 
that these institutions existed, at least there are 
records mentioning them almost from a century 
after the date of Ramanuja. We shall discuss 
those details when they come before us in our 
further consideration of this history. For the 
present we may take it that many of these 
institutions had either been in existence before 
Ramanuja, or had been newly brought into 
existence by Ramanuja, or were by him, put on 
a footing of permanence. 



A GAP IN OUR KNOWLEDGE, A. D. 1150-1255. The 

period of active life of Ramaiiuja comes to a close 
in the middle of the 12th century, and the last 
date for him may therefore be taken to be 
roughly A. D. 1150. The first Chola inscription 
of this period that we come upon in the region 
of Tirupati is that of Rajaraja III referable to 
the year A. D. 1235. Between these two dates, 
there seems to be a gap, as it were, of about 
three generations. We have seen already that a 
Yadavaraya ruler of the locality was of great 
assistance to Ramanuja, and had rendered 
valuable services both to Ramanuja and to the 
temple at Tirupati. According to the inscrip- 
tional records of the period, we find a Yadava 
Ghattideva holding a position both under 
Vikrama Chola and his successor Kulottunga, 
and the available records of his do not seem to 
go much beyond A. D. 1140. But these records 
indicate that he had sons, one of whom has left 
records referable to a period somewhat late in 
the reign of Kulottunga III which would take us 
to the eighties of the 12th century. These 
records have reference to one son. Possibly he 



had others who may have held the subordinate 
government in succession to the father, although 
no records of them have so far come down to 
us. The history of the locality therefore seems 
to be deeply associated with the fortunes of 
these Yadavarayas, as we see one Vira Narasimha 
Yadavaraya, with the Chalukya titles, wielding 
great power and exercising authority over an 
extensive area including the region with which 
we are concerned. The names of a number of 
Yadavarayas, including that of Vira Narasimha, 
occur in a large number of inscriptions in 
Tirupati itself and places dependent upon it 
and adjacent to it. To understand the history 
of the Tirupati temple therefore it would be 
necessary to understand the history of these 


THEM. But the Yadavarayas were not alone 
exclusively connected with this region. There 
are a few records of Telugu Cholas as they 
claim descent from the ancient Chola Karikala, 
sometimes called Pottappi Cholas, and another 
dynasty which goes by the name Telugu 
Pallavas, as they claim descent from Mukkanti 
Kaduvetti, sometimes Trinetra Pallava, giving 
themselves the gotra and the titles of the Pallavas 
of Kanchi. It is in this tangle that we find 
the intrusion of a certain number of records 



connected with the Hoysalas and two or three 
of the greater officers of the Hoysala Vlra Ballala 
figure even in the inscriptions at Tirupati a 
fairly clear indication of the extension of Hoysala 
influence, if not of actual suzerain authority, 
over the region. This complication has to be 
clearly analysed before we can deal with the 
history of Tirupati during this period. Very 
unfortunately our information for the period 
from inscriptions generally is comparatively 
scanty. We do not know much about what was 
taking place in the Chola empire itself under 
the Cholas, Kulottunga II and his successor 
Rajaraja II occupying between them the period 
A. D. 1133 to 1163, when the succession passed 
to a collateral branch of the Chola dynasty 
under Rajadhiraja II, whose period of reign was 
A. D. 1163 to 1178. He was followed by the 
great ruler Kulottunga III, A. D. 1178-1216, 
followed by his son Rajaraja III, A. D. 1216 to 
1246 followed by Rajendra III, whose records 
reach up to A. D. 1267 as active ruler, and 
A. D. 1279 nominally. We have noticed already 
that the territory with which we are particularly 
concerned had been associated with Vikrama 
Chola as a prince, more or less intimately, and 
perhaps opened the way by virtue of his special 
connection as viceroy of this region for the 
accession to power of a new family of rulers 



certainly related to the Eastern Chalukyas, and 
may have belonged to a collateral branch of the 
ruling family. They very probably continued 
to hold the region in a feudatory capacity, but 
like feudatories generally, not keenly regardful 
of the suzerain authority, when the holders of 
that authority themselves got involved in a 
struggle for existence. This attitude seems to 
have come about more or less gradually, as a 
new feudatory power began to assert itself in 
the region of South Arcot District. They come 
into prominence somewhat later in this period, 
but were gradually building up that position in the 
region round Cuddalore. The most distinguished 
member of this dynasty who contributed very 
largely to the decline of the Chola authority 
under Rajaraja III was a person known by the 
name Ko-Perunjinga. The rise of this feudatory 
power immediately to the North facilitated to 
some extent the assumption of independence or 
semi-independence in the feudatories farther 
north. Hence it is that we find the Yadavarayas 
gradually giving up all references to the suzerain 
authority in their records, from the reign of 
Kulottunga Chola II onwards, though not always 
and uniformly. Tirupati and its history got 
therefore in a way peculiarly associated with the 
fortunes of the Yadavarayas, whose history we 
shall have to consider as a necessary preliminary. 



gested already that the Chola-Chalukya war 
between Kulottunga I of the Cholas and the 
Chalukya Vikramaditya VI, which perhaps came 
to an end in the last years of the llth century, 
and perhaps received a definitive determination 
of the frontier between the two by A. D, 1116, 
helped to bring into prominence these feudatory 
families. The names of several of these could 
be traced in the inscriptions of the reign of 
Vikrama Chola definitely. Under his successor 
Kulottunga 11 almost the same families are 
found mentioned prominently. They occupy 
positions, 110 doubt of importance, but there 
is one little noteworthy feature in connection 
with them ; they seem as yet capable of being 
transferred from one sphere of activity to 
another. While therefore they might be regarded 
as feudatories holding portions of land under the 
rulers in different localities, so long as this 
transfer was possible they must be regarded 
more or less as officials. But we could see, in 
the course of the generation following the early 
years of Kulottunga II, the gradual change that 
the families get associated with their territories, 
and their authority being even confined to the 
actual territories over which they wielded 
authority. This it is that transforms them 
from a body of officials, however great, into 



regular feudatories holding particular portions of 
territory and changing their fealty to their 
suzerain as circumstances changed. This trans- 
formation is undoubtedly a gradual process, and 
was taking place, during the reigns of both 
Kulottunga II and Rajaraja II a period, which 
is essentially one of peace. While the Ganga 
frontier thus got definitely settled as was stated 
before, the frontier immediately to the north of 
the Chola territory was not exactly in that 
condition. Over the Eastern Chalukya territory 
proper, the power of the Western Chajukya 
Vikrmaditya spread rapidly during the period of 
the war ; and while considerable success had 
been attained in the reign of Vikrama Chola in 
the recovery of all these territories where Chola 
officers held rule during his reign acknowledging 
his authority without question, a number of 
families gain prominence as feudatories. The 
families that figure in the inscriptions of this 
reign are the Pallava family of Kudal (Cuddalore) 
in the South Arcot District ; immediately to the 
north of them, the family of the Sambuvarayans 
was coming into prominence in the Palar basin 
between Vellore and the farther north ; then 
there was the family of the Malayamans round 
Tirukkovilur, sometimes called Sedirayans. We 
also hear of a lord of the Senjiyar, people in the 
territory of Senji (Ginji). Further north of 



these a number of chieftains are referred to 
under Vikrama Chola named the Salukkis of 
Tondamandalam. Further north of these were 
the Pottappi Cholas. Then figure the names of a 
certain number of chieftains called Gangeyas. 
Then comes the Mahamandalesvara Grhattideva. 
Even farther north the lord of Kollipakka 
happens to be mentioned. This Grhattideva 
belonged to the family of the Yadavarayas, who 
claim descent from the Sasikula Chalukkis. One 
of them by name Naranadeva is traceable in the 
records of the reign of Vlrarajendra. All these 
families in the locality continued more or less in 
the reign of Kulottunga, and his successor. 
Only we see certain changes due to transfers. 
But otherwise it becomes clear that, in this 
period, there were a large number of powerful 
feudatories who interposed themselves between 
the Chola headquarters and the local administra- 
tions, which gradiially developed so as to 
make themselves intermediate powers, more and 
more identifiable as local rulers, throwing the 
authority of the Chola rulers into the back- 


these feudatory families the one that is most 
frequently associated with Tirupati is the family 
of the Yadavarayas who seem to have been 



imperial officers of great importance to begin 
with, and exercising authority over a vast extent 
of the empire of the Cholas. Among them 
Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya with various titles, 
indicating more or less his gradual rise to 
importance, is the most distinguished. But there 
are a certain number of other Yadavarayas 
besides, whose names also figure, as in fact the 
names of the members of other dynasties such as 
the Gandagopalas, the Telugu Cholas and even 
others. These various names appearing in the 
inscriptional records of Tirupati during the same 
period would go to indicate that they were all 
officers of dignity, under the empire of the 
Cholas or Pandyas according to time, who made 
donations to the temple, perhaps without being 
necessarily associated with the rule of the 
locality containing Tirupati. But the records of 
the Yadavaraya Vira Narasinga and just one or 
two others would indicate that, in their particular 
case, the association was very much more than 
that of officials who were donors of importance. 
We may therefore take note of the names of this 
dynasty that figure in this connection, with their 
dates as far as they are ascertainable, so as to 
be able to locate them properly. 

We referred already to the Yadava ruler 
Q-hattideva as probably the Yadavaraya who 



assisted Ramaimja in various matters connected 
with the hill-shrine of Tirupati in connection with 
the claim of the Saivas, and the arrangements, 
that he made subsequently. It was also probably 
he who assisted Ranianuja to build the shrine of 
Govindaraja in Lower Tirupati and who laid out 
the Agrahfira, Ramaiiujapuram round it in 
honour of Ramanuja, although we have not 
come upon any record of these associations of 
Ghattideva. His known dates, the 17th year of 
Vikrama Chola and the 6th year of Kulottunga, 
or A. D. 1135 to 1139, would leave but little 
doubt in regard to the matter. From this last 
date A. D. 1139 almost to the year A. D. 1235 
there is a gap in these ins 'riptional records 
which we could hardly till. That is just the 
period of the rule of Rajaraja H succeeded by 
Rajadhiraja, and then again by Knlottunga III. 
The whole of the reign of Rajadhiraja and 
the first years of Kulottunga were occupied 
completely with the war ot Pandya succession 

in which the Cholas took one side and the 

Ceylonese the other. So the imperial preoccupa- 
tion was altogether this, and we might almost 
say the face of the Chola monarchs remained set 
towards the south during the whole of this 
period, with the exception of the few years of 
Rajaraja II, whose reign appears to have been 
one essentially of peace. Then the name of a 



Yadavaraya that we come upon with dates in the 
7th year of Kulottunga III, and in the llth 
and 15th years of Rajaraja III or the period 
A. D. 1185 to 1231, is that of a Tirukkalattideva 
Yadavaraya, not to be mistaken with the Telugu 
Chola of the same name. We have a son of his 
by name iriyapillai with the title Virarakshasa 
Yadavaraya, and date A. D. 1198. A son of 
Grhattideva by name Rajamalla Yadavaraya 
appears with dates in the 31st year of Kulot- 
tunga III and the 21st year of Rajaraja III, 
A. D. 1209 to 1237. He is followed by a son of 
his with the date in the 19th year of Rajaraja, 
A. D. 1235 by name Kasanmai, rather a peculiar 
name, and then we come to Vira Narasinga 


This name occurs as that of an important officer 
of the Chola empire under Kulottunga III and 
the earlier years of Rajaraja III, his authority 
extending practically all over the region of 
Tondamandalam. The authority that he exer- 
cised perhaps would bear the inference that he 
was something of a superior governor, whose 
authority prevailed over that of local governors 
of the divisions under him, which, in his time, 
would have been practically the northern half 
of the Chola empire. The earliest record of his 



that we know of refers to the 31st year of 
Knlottunga III, that is A. D. 1209, and the latest 
takes us on to the 14th year of Rajaraja III 
which would mean A. D. 1230 ; and then there 
is one of the 12tli~ year of Jatavarman Sundra 
Pandya I which would mean A. D. 1262 63, so 
that he seems to have wielded his authority 
and held his position during the long period 
A. D. 1209 to 1263 at least. His inscriptions are 
numerous in the temple of Tirupati itself, and 
he had undertaken and executed some large 
works in connection with the temple. There are 
three other names of Yadavarayas that occur, 
Grhattideva II, during the period A. D. 1224-27 
in the reign of Rajaraja III, Tiruvengadanatha 
Yadavaraya, whose dates are from the 8th to the 
12th year taken to be his own. But these dates 
might as well be those of Vira Narasinga, whose 
son-in-law he sems to have been from an 
expression in one of the inscriptions, Maruhanar 
occurring in inscription No. 102, which ought to 
be applied to him. We shall revert to that 
later. He is followed by another oriranganatha 
Yadavaraya, whose dates are comprised between 
the years A. D. 1336 and 1355, It will be seen 
that, considering merely the dates, these last 
three Yadavarayas figure in the period in which 
Vira Narasinga's authority prevailed, as was 
stated above. While these may have been 



princes of the royal family of the Yadavas, their 
spheres of office must have been those of local 
governors under the supervision of the higher 
officer Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya. We shall 
now proceed to consider what light the 
inscriptions throw upon their associations with 


CHOLA RULE. Notwithstanding the fact that 
several of these Yadavarayas were contem- 
poraries of Kulottunga III, and could be ascribed 
to his reign, there are no inscriptions in 
Tirupati which refer themselves to the reign of 
Kulottunga III explicitly. This is probably to 
be accounted for by the fact that, in the earlier 
years of Kulottunga and for the far greater part 
of his reign clearly, he was occupied in the 
south with wars against the Pandyas and the 
Ceylonese ; and, though subsequently we know 
that he was very active and brought the empire 
back substantially to allegiance to him, it is just 
possible that the northern portions of the empire 
had not been so completely brought back again 
to the same sense of duty as the other portions 
of the empire. Consequently these northern 
chiefs conducted themselves as if they were 
their own masters. We shall refer, as we 
proceed, to such inscriptions as may be referable 
to his reign from the mere dating whenever it is 



possible. But among the inscriptions included 
in Volume I of the Devastanam Inscriptions, 
the first is No. 34 referring itself plainly to 
Rajaraja III, and probably to his 5th year, which 
would mean A. D. 1221, and refers to the digging 
of a tank in Tirucchanur, where the inscription 
is found, by an officer of the treasury by name 
Pandyataraiyau. The grant itself refers to the 
gift of a piece of land to the temple. No. 3B 
refers to the 7th year of Rajaraja, and refers to 
the temple at Yogimallavaram, and refers to the 
same officer as above, whose son-in-law Vira 
Narasingadeva Yadavaraya is said to have been- 
It refers to a grant by this officer in honour of 
one Narayana Pillai, who fell in the battle of 
Uratti, fighting on the side of the Yadavaraya, 
and seems to imply that he laid his life 
in defence of the Yadavaraya. The Pan<Jya- 
taraiyan bought the piece of land for gold under 
the new tank Narayana, and made it over to 
the temple for the offer of worship at ArdhayZma 
(overnight), and for taking out the God in 
procession. This was made over, under sanction 
of a letter from Pillaiyar Yadavarayar, that is, 
Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya, and acknowledged 
as such by the Vaishgava Brahmans in charge 
of the temple. Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya, it 
should be remembered, figures here as the 
son-in-law of the officer concerned. The battle 




324 ) 


of Uratti must have taken place before the 7th 
year of Rajaraja, and probably was fought 
for by the Yadavaraya on the one side as 
against enemies. The next one, No. 36, comes 
from the same temple and is dated the 9th 
year of Rajaraja. This is an interesting grant 
and refers to an arrangement made in the 23rd 
year of Rajaraja I by a Jayamkonda Chola 
Brahmamarayan, who paid 26 kalanju of gold 
for the purpose of celebrating an ablution on the 
Uttarayana Sankramana (about the middle of 
January) day every year. This had apparently 
not been done. When the matter was brought 
to the notice of Vlra Narasinga Yadavaraya, he 
made the necessary enquiry, and, finding the 
facts as stated, ordered that the money might be 
taken over into the treasury of the temple, and 
arrangements made for the celebration of the 
festival by the Sabha of the village. The next 
inscription has reference to the same year, and 
seems to refer more or less to the gift in the 
previous grant for the ablution of the God on the 
Uttarayana Sankramana, and gives details of how 
the income had to be expended, and is an 
acknowledgment by the Sabha of their respon- 
sibility in regard to this matter. The next one 
No. 38 belongs to the 14th year of Rajaraja, and 
refers to the same temple and the same officer 
Pa<Jyataraiyan, who is described as a treasurer, 



son of one Andar, who was a lion to those of 
other faiths, and as holding the office of the 
Superintendent of the Matha attached to the 
temple, and refers to a gift of land under the 
tank Vira Narasingadeva, in whose name it was 
repaired and put in order by his father-in-law, 
the Pandyataraiyan referred to. The revenues 
in paddy and in gold from some of this land was 
made the capital for the celebration of certain 
festivals in the temple. The land was made 
over to the JTravar, the governing body of the 
town, who agreed to conduct the festival for all 
time from the income. This was agreed to 
by the governing body of Munnaippundi, and 
attested by the accountant of the temple under 
the Mahasabha of Yogimallavaram. The next 
following inscription has reference to the temple 
accountant, mentioned in the above record, who 
is said to have set up an image of GaneSa. The 
document is incomplete. That again is a 
document in Yogimallavaram. With No. 40 we 
come on to the Qovindaraja shrine, which, it 
will be remembered, was actually constructed, 
at the instance of Ramanuja, by a former 
Yadavaraya to house the images carried away 
from Chidambaram when the ruling Chola 
ordered the Govindaraja shrine to be removed 
from there. The document is prefaced, " in 
accordance with the oral orders of the Kmg, " 



and is dated in the 19th year of Rajaraja III. It 
states that on a particular day in the month 
of Karttika of the year, the Periyanattavar 
(the big assembly of the division) assembled in 
the Ilangovil of the locality, what is now the 
Alamelumanga shrine, and refers to a resolution 
that they came to. The resolution had reference 
to the provision by the Periyanattar, for the 
daily offerings to Tirumangai Slvar, who is 
described as Karalar Karpakam (the wish-giving 
tree among the Karalar), Karalar being an 
agricultural Kallar community. A shrine had 
been built for this Alvar in the Govindaraja 
temple, and, as a provision for the daily worship 
had been omitted to be made, this omission had 
been made good by a certain number of people. 
It is interesting to note the first name is Sri 
Satakopadasa, (a devotee of Nammalvar) and 
Kolli Kavalidasa (the first part has reference 
to 5.1var Kulasekhara), The third name is 
one Aruvar-anayakovil Pillai, and the last is 
a Kalikanridasa (the first part being one of 
the names of the Tirumangai SJlvar himself). 
A certain amount of land was made over for the 
purpose, the cultivators of which had to make 
over a certain measure of paddy for each patti. 
This was made over in the name of Govinda 
Perumal to the managers of the treasury of 
Tiruvengadamu<Jaiyan, the God on the hill. 



This was the order of the governing body of 
Tirukkudavur, and was to be a perpetual grant. 
This charitable gift received the approval of 
the Periyanattavar, the governing body of the 
Periyanadu, and was attested by their Velan, 
that is, the hereditary writer of the division. 
No. 41 is an imperfect document, but refers itself 
clearly to the days of Rajaraja, and makes 
mention of the Yadavaraya as well as the 
Narayanan ' who fell formerly ', apparently 
referring to the Narayana Pillai who fell in the 
battle of Uratti. No. 42 is an inscription in the 
temple at Tirupati, and refers to the 6th year of 
Allan Tirukkalattideva. The other details are 
gone, but what is left is enough to indicate 
it was a grant by Madhurantaka Pottappi 
Tirukkalattideva. From this we pass on to the 
documents referring to Sundara Pandya I. 


THE CHOLA POWER. We have already stated 
that the Chola Kulottunga III ceased to rule in 
A. D. 1216 or somewhat later, but was succeeded 
by Rajaraja III in that year, either as joint ruler 
or in his own right. Rajaraja's rule extended 
from that date to the year A. D. 1346 without a 
doubt, and there are dociiments referring to 
his reign for a number of years afterwards 
even. We come upon inscriptions of a certain 



Rajendra III from A. D. 1246 onwards, or even 
somewhat earlier. Whether he succeeded 
Rajaraja III and what his actual relation to 
Rajaraja was, we do not know for certain. But 
from what we gather from the inscriptions of the 
time, it looks as though he were a brother of 
Rajaraja III, who played his own part in the last 
years of Rajaraja Ill's feeble reign to regain to 
some extent the power and prestige of the ruling 
family of the Cholas. The Pandya wars, 
which had remained the preoccupation of 
Kulottunga III through practically the whole 
length of his reign, seem to have continued 
more or less notwithstanding the drastic punish- 
ment inflicted upon the defeated Pandya by 
Kulottunga. The great humiliation the Pandyas 
suffered only whetted their appetite for revenge, 
and, throughout the reign of Rajaraja III, he 
had to suffer humiliation at the hands of the 
Pandya, almost from the outset of his reign. 
Jatavarman Kulasekhara Pandya was the last 
contemporary of Kulottunga III, and was 
succeeded by Maravarman Sundara Pandya, 
who came to the throne in A. D. 1216. Mara- 
varman almost immediately set out on an 
invasion of the Chola country and claimed to 
have conquered it, burning the capitals of 
Tanjore and Uraiyur. All through his reign 
and that of his successor Maravarman Sundara 



Pa$dya II, the Chola territory and Chola 
authority were alike reduced to the lowest 
position. This attack from outside was taken 
advantage of by the discontented feudatories 
within, among whom the Kadavas with their 
head-quarters, first at Cuddalore and then at 
endamangalarn, played the chief part. There 
were some loyalists among the feudatories farther 
north, who fought against the Kadavas and 
their allies. Among them figure the names of 
Vlra Narasinga Yadavaraya, and a certain 
number of other chiefs in his neighbourhood. 
This war against the Kadava was not so very much 
to restore the authority of the Chola emperor 
but to prevent the Kadava lording it over them, 
and showed respect for the central authority 
as a matter of form more or less. The position 
of the Chola emperor became precarious in 
the 2nd or 3rd year of his reign, and it was 
the timely intervention of the Hoysala ruler 
Narasimha II, who was related to the Chola 
family, that saved the situation for the time 
being, by releasing Rajaraja from prison into 
Tvhich he was thrown by the Kadava. The 
attack therefore from the south by the Pandya, 
and from the Kadava in the interior immediately 
to the north of the country alike, made the 
position of the Chola monarch precarious in the 
extreme, and, in the next following years, the 



Hoysalas found it necessary to be constantly 
on the alert in his defence. They felt it 
necessary therefore to establish themselves nea 
Siirangam where, on the northern bank of the 
Coleroon, they fortified the town of Kannanur, 
and erected for themselves a capital which they 
named Vikramapnra. It was through the good 
offices of the Hoysala that Rajaraja was able 
to maintain some semblance of power. When 
Rajendra III comes to notice we see him acting 
as if he were impatient of this tutelage of the 
reigning Chola monarch, and, as if he were 
exerting himself to vindicate the Chola prestige 
and authority, as against the Hoysala and the 
Pandya together. But the years were years 
of constant war and turmoil, so that there was 
not much chance of the Cholas being left in 


circumstances Jatavarman Siindara Pandya I 
ascended the throne in succession to Maravarman 
Sundara Pandya II. He was a powerful ruler 
and very warlike. He started on a campaign 
against the Chola territory, but primarily against 
the Hoysala monarchs who seem to have been, 
at the time related both to the Cholas and the 
Pandyas. In the course of a decade, he had 
succeeded in defeating the Hoysalas, and along 



with them the Cholas, the Kadava feudatory of 
the Cholas and even the more powerful among 
the feudatories farther north who held possession 
of Kanchi and the territory dependent thereon. 
Marching farther north, he brought into 
subordination to him, the northern provinces 
of the Chola empire reaching as far as the 
Krishna and celebrating the anointment of 
heroes in as far north a place as Nellore. So 
during his reign he had successfully brought 
the Chola empire under his authority ; and 
those of the feudatories of the Cholas who were 
prudent, had to acknowledge his authority and 
pay allegiance to him. The inscriptions referring 
to his time naturally therefore have to be issued 
more or less with his countenance, if not his 
authority almost. The inscriptions in Tirupati 
which refer to him give evidence of the complete- 
ness with which he imposed his authority over 
the Chola empire. 


record in this volume of inscriptions ascribed to 
him is No. 43 in the hill shrine at Tirupati. 
There is nothing in the record to indicate that 
it was of Sundara Pandya's, the only reference 
being that it was a letter (plai) written by a 
Yadavaraya, on the authority of a communi- 
cation from the N&yanar. Presumably therefore 



the Yadavaraya referred to is Vlra Narasinga 
Yadavaraya, and the Nayanar is probably 
Sundara Paijdya. The despatch was received by 
the governing body of Kudavur Nadu, Tonda- 
padi Parru, Aharapparyu? and a person described 
as Variya Vimanattan who exercised supervision 
over something. Then it records the action 
that they took, with effect from the third 
year, in connection with the Tiru-Ilankovil, the 
Vaishnava temple at Tirucchaimr. It is the grant 
of the revenues to the temple, the details of 
which are gone. The next one, 44, is from the 
same place. It refers, of course, to a communi- 
cation from Nayanar Vlra Narasinga Deva, and 
refers to the grant, as dating from the 12th 
year of Sundara Pandya, a clear indication 
of the recognition of his authority. It is the 
granting of the land as sarvamanya, detailing 
the revenue derivable therefrom, to constitute 
the funds from the income of which a certain 
kind of food-service was to be made to the God 
in the temple. No. 45 of the same place begins 
with a clear Prasasti in Sanskrit of Sundara 
Parjdya, which credits him with the achieve- 
ments usually ascribed to him in his inscriptions. 
They may be set down as some of them seem 
to be not quite so usual. He is described as an 
ornament of the Somakula (dynasty of the moon), 
a Madhava of the city of Madura, destroyer 



of the family of Kerala, one who caused the 
destruction of the city of Lanka, a second Rama, 
a hammer that broke the hill of the Chola 
family, a Kutapakala fever to the Kataka (this 
word is gone in the inscription), the destroyer 
of the various hill forts of enemies, a wild forest- 
fire burning to destruction the forest of Vira 
Gandagopala (Vira here being perhaps a general 
epithet as the person who suffered in this event 
is known as Vijaya Gandagopala), lord of the 
excellent city of Kanchi ; and then follow the 
general titles, Maharajadhiraja, Paramesvara, 
and Tribhuvanachakravarti followed by the 
name Sundara Pandya, The document refers 
itself to the year opposite to the 14th year of 
the Perumal, that is, Sundara Pandya. The 
grant portion is gone. No. 46 gives a different 
kind of PraSasti, only speaking of the prowess 
of Sundara Pandya. But the point of import- 
ance here is that it makes a distinction between 
Vijaya Gandagopala, whom he killed, and Vira 
Gandagopala to whom he gave the kingdom 
of the other. The grant portion here is gone. 
No. 48 refers to Sundara Pandya having killed 
a certain Andhrefivara. This is followed by a 
iloka that he established Vijaya Gandagopala; 
probably this Andhresvara is no other than 
Vijaya Gandagopala. No. 49 refers to Sundara 
Pandya setting up a kalasa on the temple at 



Kanchi. No. 50 is too far gone to make much 
out of it, except that he had an anointment of 
heroes after killing an Andhresvara. No. 51 
is a Tamil verse giving almost the same idea as 
No. 50 and refers to Vada Kanchi-mandalam, the 
equivalent of Adhi Kanchi in the previous record. 
It seems to refer almost to the same event. 
No. 52 also is similarly gone except of course 
for a reference to the Kataka, that is, the ruler 
Kopperunjinga of Cuddalore and Sendamangalani? 
and a reference to a Vlrabhisheka. No. 53 is a 
reference to a Ganapati, certainly the Kakatlya 
ruler Ganapati. No. 54 refers to Chakravarti 
Sundara Pandya, and gives a part of the Prasasti 
containing the name Vira Gandagopala. No. 55 
again is a fragment of the Prasasli in which 
his putting to flight a Karnataka Raja, and the 
re-establishment of some other king are men- 
tioned. These are the records that have any 
reference to Sundara Pandya. The (act that 
they are all found on the hill shrine and are 
built in various parts of the temple indicates 
clearly that Jatavarnuin Sundara Pandya's rule 
was well acknowledged by the rulers of this 
region who found it to their interest to declare 
openly their allegiance. So Sundara Pandya's 
authority prevailed in a real sense over the region 
of north Kanchi as it is described. 



The next two inscriptions Nos. 57 and 58 in 
this Section of Volume I of the Devastanam 
Inscriptions have reference to the building of 
the Alvar shrine on the banks of the tank called 
Kapila Tlrtham at the foot of the hill. The 
first document merely says that the tower, 
the pavilion and the hall for the Alvar were 
constructed by one Vaneduttakai Alagiyan of 
Tunjalur in the middle division of Milalaikkurram 
in the Pandya country. The next one is a 
Sanskrit sloka referring to the Alvar being 
established there, of the great services to human- 
ity that he rendered by making accessible 
in Tamil the recondite teaching of the Veda, 
obviously a reference to Nammalvar ; but the 
name is gone, as the document is not complete- 
It is not quite clear why these two documents 
are grouped in this section. It is likely that 
they refer to the time, although there is nothing 
to warrant that. 


The next section of this volume of inscriptions 
has reference to a number of chieftains belonging 
to the various families such as the Telugu 
Pallavas, Yadavarayas, and others. These have 
ught in here as from such detail as may 
fte in regard to time, they are referable 
to this vtWfiod and undoubtedly to this region. 



The first family is that of the Telugu Pallavas, 
two members of which figure prominently during 
the period. They seem to be, from certain 
Tamil records, undoubtedly brothers, namely, 
Vijaya Gandagopala and Vira Gandagopala. 
They seem to have been rulers associated with 
Kanchi, and the districts north of it. Of these 
two Vijaya Gandagopala was put to death, as 
the result of a battle, by Jatavarman Sundara 
Tandy a in the year A. D. 1250-51, and his 
territory, a number of records say, he made 
over to his younger brother, Vira Gandagopala. 
Records of Vijaya Gandagopala extend over a 
period of more than a decade previous to his 
death. His successor Vira Gandagopala ruled 
for a long period after A. D. 1251 continuing 
almost to the end of the century. The relation 
between these, and Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya 
whose period was coeval, is not clearly stated 
in these records ; but it seems to be more or 
less that these chieftains made their donations 
to the temple at Tirupati, although holding 
official positions which may not directly associate 
them with Tirupati. These documents when 
they give dates refer themselves to these actual 
rulers without any reference to a suzerain. The 
first of such documents is No. 59 in the hill 
shrine referring itself to the ninth year. The 
beginning is gone and we have got only 



Gopaladeva, presumably Vijaya Gandagopala as 
his name occurs immediately after. The grant 
has reference to the gift of 33 cows and a 
bull for the purpose of a perpetual lamp in the 
temple by one Ammaiyappan of the Kasyapa 
(jotra who was on duty at the gate of Vijaya 
Gandagopala. Ko. 60 has reference to the 
ninth year, but the ruler's name is gone, and 
mentions a certain chieftain by name Villa varaya 
with possibly the name Tirukkalattideva. No. 01 
refers actually to Vijaya Gandagopala, and to 
what seems his fourteenth year. It is in the 
Govindaraja shrine, and makes provisions for 
certain food-service during the Vaikasi festival 
to the God on the hill. The grant was made 
over to the treasury of the temple, apparently 
the temple on the hill. No. 62 belongs to the 
hill shrine, and refers to a Singadeva alias 
Villavarayan, an immediate attendant who made 
the gift of a lamp, by name, Sundarattoludaiyan, 
No. 63 belongs to the hill shrine as well, and 
refers to a Per 'uwand idem Arasiyar, the princess 
(the consort of our Lord King), who made a gift. 
What that is, is gone. The record begins with 
Vijaya Gandagopala, probably in reference to 
the year, but that is gone. No. 64 again belongs 
to the hill temple and refers to a grant of cows 
for the lamp (same number of cows for a 
perpetual lamp). No. 65 in the same temple 



refers to a ruler Tripurantaka. No. 66 similarly 
refers to a Brahmasetti and a Brahmamdrayan. 
All else in the inscription is gone. No. 67 in the 
same temple refers itself clearly to Vijaya 
Gandagopala. Here again part is gone. A 
certain oilman Amarakkon, probably a son of 
Kattari, resident of Narayanapuram, made over 
32 cows and a bull for the purpose of one perpetual 
lamp and a certain amount of money for a 
camphor lamp as well. No. 68 similarly refers to 
Vijaya Gandagopala, and refers to a grant of 
450 panam^ which was placed under the protection 
of the ri Vaishnavas. No. 69 refers to a similar 
grant in the reign of Vijaya Gandagopala specifi- 
cally. No. 7o is a similar grant also of a gift of 
440 mrahas by the fraliyars, dyers and weavers, 
of Vikramapura belonging to Atreya gotra. 
No. 71 is a similar grant by the Saliyars. No. 72 
is the same and refers itself to the time of Vijaya 
Gandagopala, but the goira of the Saliyars is 
given as Vishnu gotra. No. 73 is too far gone 
to make anything out of it. No. 74 is important 
as it refers to the festivals of Chittirai and 
PurattaSi of Tiruvengadamudaiyan. These 
were both of them festivals of long standing, the 
latter of which is referred to by the early Slvars 
themselves. It makes provision for a grant for 
a food-service as prescribed in the Tiruppaval of 
Andal. This festival was organised by Ramanuja, 



and, according to the Sri Venkatachala Itihasa- 
mala, it was not in existence before. For the 
requirements of this service, a certain number 
of gold coins called Gaiidagopalan Madai were 
made over from the interest of which the annual 
expenses were to be met. No. 75 is mutilated. 
No. 76 refers itself to the time of Vijaya 
Gandagopala as does the next one 77. The first 
refers to to a perpetual lamp on the day of the 
Uttarashada Nakshatra, and the next one refers 
to a money gift. The other details are gone. 
No. 78 refers to the fifth year and PurattSsi 
month, and a gift of three madai. The other 
details are gone. No. 79 refers itself to the days 
of Vijaya Gandagopala, and has reference to the 
flower-garden in the name of a Pandya, probably 
Sundara Pandya, and refers to the gift of 
200 kuli of land. It refers in one of the following 
passages to Ramanuja and Emberumanar, and 
makes the gift of 500 varahapaya for certain 
items of expenditure. Record No. 80 is a Tamil 
verse glorifying Raja Gandagopala, and says in 
so many words that there was nobody who did 
not benefit by the liberality of Gandagopala 
among those " who put their hands below " for 
receiving his gift. It thus becomes clear that 
the grants, Nos. 59 to 80, almost all of them 
being in the hill shrine, refer themselves to 
the time of Gandagopala, Vijaya Gandagopala 



obviously. As we already stated, his period 
of authority came to a close almost with the 
first year of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya, and 
whatever the length of his reign we have records 
of about ten to twelve years. These records 
refer to a time before A. D. 1251. We pass on 
to the records of other rulers, those of the 
Yadavarayas in particular. 




Yadavaraya inscriptions in Volume I of the 
Tirumalai-Tirupati Devastanam Inscriptions take 
up Nos. 81 to 117 followed by a batch of 
miscellaneous inscriptions going up to No. 177- 
The inscriptions thereafter refer themselves to 
the empire of Vijayanagar. We might take the 
Yadavaraya inscriptions first. The first record 
No. 81 comes from the temple of Tirupati, and 
is by one Tirukkajattidevan, giving himself all 
the titles usual to the Yadavarayas making it 
clear that he is not to be confounded with 
the Telugu Cholas of the name, and is the 
grant of a sarwmanya village to the temple of 
Tiruvengadamudaiyaii. This does not refer 
itself to any suzerain, Cliola or other, and does 
not even give a direct date, although it seems to 
refer to the nineteenth year of the reign. But 
one cannot be sure whether it is the nineteenth 
year of this Yadavaraya or any suzerain of his. 
We pass on to No. 82 in the same place, which 
seems to refer itself definitely, although the 
name is gone, to the reign of Tribhuvana 
Chakravartigal Kulottunga Choladeva. The 



name of the Chola, however, is gone, and 
refers to the fifteenth year. It is a gift by a 
Virarakshasa Yadavaraya, whose proper name, 
though given in the record, is gone. This 
probably refers to the Virarakshasaraya of other 
records, a son of Tirukkalattideva, by name 
Singa Filial, prince Singa, who had this title. 
The fifteenth year of Kulottunga would corres- 
pond to A. D. 1193. If the nineteenth year of 
the previous record is to be taken to be the 
nineteenth year of Kulottunga, it would mean 
A. D. 1197, four years after that of his son. It 
would be nothing strange as the records of this 
Tirukkalattideva range from the seventh year 
of Kulottunga III to the fifteenth year of 
Rajaraja, A. D 1185 to A. D. 1231. The next 
following, No. 83, refers itself to the reign of 
this Virarakshasa, and of his forty-first year. 
The word for forty is gone. If this forty-first 
year could be taken to refer to Kulottunga 
IIPs reign, the actual date would be A. D. 1219. 
We cannot perhaps be quite sure about it, 
though the date of the previous record is 
explicitly in reference to the reign of Kulot- 
tunga. Then we come to the most important 
name of the Yadavarayas connected with this 
temple, namely, Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya, 
whose records begin with his twelfth year, and 
take us down to his fifty-first year. We have 



records of his in other places beginning with the 
thirty-first year of Kulottunga III, and going 
down to the fourteenth year of Rajaraja III. 
That is the period included between A. D. 1209 
and 1230. We have also a record of his dated 
the twelfth year of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya, 
corresponding to A. D. 1263, which would mean 
that his active association with the temple would 
cover the period A. D. 1209 to 1263, fifty-four or 
fifty- five years. But the highest date in his 
records happen to be the fifty-first year. While 
we may be sure that he lived in the reigns 
of Kulottunga III, and Rajaraja, we cannot be 
certain about his dates. From No. 90 of this 
volume in the Govindaraja shrine, the year of 
reign is given as fifty-one, clearly as that of 
Vira Narasinga, and the name of the year is 
given as Bakshasa. This would correspond to 
A. D. 1255. But the previous record No. 89 
couples his fiftieth year with the year Vikrarna, 
which is impossible. We have to take it that 
the year is named wrong. We are not enabled 
to go any further as the other Panchanga details 
are not given in these records usually, the 
records contenting themselves with referring to 
the year of the reign of the ruler ; and the month 
and date and further details which would admit 
of calculation are not given. If his fifty-first 
year corresponded to A. D. 1255, his reign must 



have begun in A. D. 1204, and as the last date is 
the twelfth year of Sundara Pandya, A. D. 1263, 
or a period of fifty-nine years, a length which 
may not be quite impossible, and would cover 
the three reigns practically of Kulottunga, 
Eajaraja and even Sundara Pandya. The first 
record in Tirupati of this ruler refers itself to 
the twelfth year when his queen Yadavaraya 
Nachchiyar made over sixty-four cows and two 
bulls for two perpetual lamps. This was placed 
under the protection of the Sri Vaishnavas of the 
temple. No. 85 is a record of the same queen, 
but of the fifteenth year, and is a gift for 
Govindaraja of one perpetual lamp for which she 
gave thirty-two cows and one bull, No. 86 again 
comes from the Govindaraja shrine and refers 
to the thirtieth year of Vira Narasinga. It is 
again a grant by the queen. She made a 
sarvamanya of a village, part of which already 
belonged to the God of Tiruvengadam, transform- 
ing the whole into a sarvamanya (free of all 
imposts) village. The part that was now given 
was for the purpose of the Govindaraja festival 
in Ani instituted by herself, and for the expenses 
of the big car of square formation constructed 
by herself for the God. She paid the sum due, 
making allowance for depreciation and destruc- 
tion of property. No. 87 from the hill shrine is 
of the thirty-fourth year of the same ruler and 



in a gift for a perpetual lamp by one Malaikkiniya 
Nirifan or Tiruvengadanatha of Vlra Narayana- 
chaturvedimangalam. No. 88 from the hill shrine 
is of peculiar importance referring itself to the 
fortieth year of the Yadavaraya. It begins 
with the information that, in the year referred 
to, a Desantari, that is, a foreign visitor by name 
Tiruppullanidasa, undertook the rebuilding of the 
temple. He seems to have sought permission of 
the ruler for doing it, and got a communication 
permitting of his doing so, but ordering at the 
same time the copying out of all the inscriptions^ 
in the part of the temple to be renewed, on the 
north wall of the shrine. This means it was 
only the inner shrine that was going to be put 
under repairs and the records found there were 
to be copied in the outer wall of the temple. 
Among the records so copied is a grant by the 
Chola queen, the step-mother of Rajaraja, the 
queen of Parantaka II, who died in " the golden 
hall ", and a daughter of the Chera. This again 
refers itself to the sixteenth year of Rajaraja 
when she made over fifty-two kalanju of gold set 
with six rubies, four diamonds and twenty-eight 
pearls. No. 89 is a record of date fifty, but 
the year is wrong, and refers to a gift of lamps 
and garlands by the rl Vaishnavas. No. 90 is of 
the fifty-first year corresponding to A. D. 1255, as 
was said above. This, and the previous record, 



belong to the Grovindaraja shrine. It refers 
to the making of a garden under the name 
Yadavanarayana, and for the purpose of this 
garden,, a sheet of running water was to be 
impounded for growing the waterlily, and the 
water was to be drawn from the big tank in 
Tirupati. The document lays down that the 
water should be drawn by natural flow from the 
big tank as long as it was possible, and, when it 
became impossible, water should be drawn by 
water-lifts. The peculiar regulation is laid down 
that this should not be marked off by stones 
carrying the disc mark of Vishnu. It is not clear 
why this unusual prohibition is made. There is 
reference to another flower-garden below the tank, 
and that was to receive the water supply as this 
one. The two gardens were to be under the 
management of those who were rendering service 
to the God on the hill, and the maintenance of 
this garden and the flower service were to be 
perpetual. The next one, No. 91, does not give 
any date, but mentions the Vira Narasimha 
Yadavaraya, and refers to his weighing himself 
against gold, and making use of the gold 
to cover the temple Vimana (tower over the 
sanctum) with gold ; his victory over his 
enemies, and his bringing the whole world 
under his authority, are both mentioned in 
general terms. The weighing against gold was 



on the occasion of the repairs referred to in 
88 above. No. 92 from the Govindaraja shrine 
contains a verse in praise of Yadavanachchiyar, 
who is compared to the lotus-born Lakshmi. 
The rest of the record is gone. Obviously 
she made a gift to the temple. No. 93 of this 
ruler is from the hill shrine, and refers to 
the presentation of a perpetual lamp by a 
Devapperumal belonging to Nellore, otherwise 
called Vikramasimhapura. He made over the 
usual number of cows and a bull. No. 94 is a 
mutilated inscription and refers to a gift probably 
by somebody belonging to Nellore. The record 
speaks of a Nayanar Pillai Vira Narasinga. 
That would mean the lord Prince Vira Narasinga. 
No. 95 comes from the temple at Tirucchanur and 
refers to a gift of land, but the record is too far 
gone. No. 96 again comes from the same place 
and seems to refer itself to the Pandiyataraiyar, 
the father-in-law of Vira Narasinga, whose name 
occurs in several other records, and refers to 
the reclamation of land under a tank. No. 97 
is from the same place referring to the same 
person and seems to refer again to a gift of land. 
No. 98 refers itself unusually to a date 1230, the 
year Kllaka. This could only be the Saka year, 
and for aka 1230 Kilaka is correct. It refers 
to an arrangement made by the ri Vaishnavas 
of Vlrasikhamukhaccheri of the Naraya^a- 


( To feet W< 349 ) 


ehaturvedimangalam for feeding the pilgrims 
that came to worship at the temple on certain 
special days of the year. The record is in the 
Sndal shrine of Govindaraja, which is one of the 
small outer shrines built at the inspiration of 
Ramanuja within the temple. This brings us 
to the end of the records of Vira Narasimha 


SUPERVISION. We see from these records that 
this Yadava ruler Vira Narasingaraya showed 
himself specially interested in the temple and 
arranged for a number of services both by 
himself and through his wife. These extended 
to the performance of a Tulapurusha, which was 
made use of for decorating the temple Vimana, 
probably after it was repaired by the pilgrim 
Tiruppullanidasa. Betweeen them, the husband 
and the wife arranged for a certain number of 
festivals and services both in the hill shrine and 
in the Govindaraja temple at the foot of the hill, 
not excluding even the temple at Tirucchanur. 
There is a reference to this Yadavaraya queen 
making a car for the Govindaraja. During the 
period of his authority, as we noticed already, he 
was not merely a local governor. He exercised 
authority over a far larger area of the Chola 
empire than the region of Tirupati, and probably 
as such, made these gifts to the temple. The 



record of Sundara Pandya's twelfth year, which 
would be of date A. D. 1263, refers to the issue 
of an order by this Yadava Narasingadeva in 
regard to the grant of a sarvamanya, although 
the record does not say who it was that made 
the gift ; but the order confirming this grant was 
issued by this Yadavaraya, which would mean 
that under the great Pandya he occupied perhaps 
the same position of authority as under the 
last two Cholas. With that we take leave of 
Vira Narasinga. Great as his authority was, and 
his benefactions magnificent, we still see that he 
exercised no more authority than that of mere 
supervision and control over the affairs of the 
temple, the management having been really in 
the hands of those exercising it as of old, namely, 
the Sri Vaishnavas of the locality. 


come to a Yadavaraya whose records give only 
his years and do not refer themselves to any 
other authority, and make it difficult to fix his 
position. There are however some details in 
his few records which would enable us to locate 
him in point of time. The first record, No. 99 ; , 
of Volume I of the Devastanam Inscriptions, 
comes from the hill shrine, and refers to the 
year opposite the eighth year of TiruvSngada- 
natha Yadavaraya. The document records that 
the village of Pongalur in the 



was made a sarvamanya to God Tiruvengadam- 
udaiyan. The order communicating this was 
made by the Nayanar, apparently the Yadava- 
raya, and was so conveyed by executing the 
document from the year nine and month Adi 
(July August). The purpose of this sarvamftnya 
was to carry out ingayya Dandanayaka's 
institution of a festival in the month of Adi 
every year in the name of Rachayya Danda- 
nayaka, arid a food offering also in his name. 
The usual number of feudal and other dues 
are given here, many of which are found in 
other documents as well. These are generally 
payments of gold, payments in grain for small 
dues etc., and among the gifts called k&njkkai, 
we find things like TiruttSyar Kawikkai and 
Tiru-Maruhanar Kanikkai, which would mean 
gifts in the name of the respected mother and 
the respected sou-in-law. These seem more 
or less feudal dues of some kind ; but who 
the Tiruttayar and Tiru-Maruhanar are it is 
not clear from this record. But what is of 
importance to us, however, is who the Singana 
Dandanayaka was, whose institution of the 
festival is on record here. We shall consider 
that in connection with the following records as 
well, two of which have reference to these. The 
next record No. 100 coming from the Govinda- 
rSja shrine refers to the twelfth year of the same 



Yadavaraya, and refers to an order received 
directing the gifting of certain land as sarvarnanya 
for certain purposes, among others a Yadava- 
narayanan sandi, although the part Yadava is 
gone in the record. There are two interesting 
points in this record. Like the other two that 
we referred to in the previous one, here we come 
upon Akkan Kapikkai, gift for the elder sister, 
probably a payment similar to that of the others. 
Then there is one other which is perhaps more 
informing, a vari or tax going by the name 
Vallaladeva, that is, Ballaladeva, which would 
mean a tax levied and collected for the purpose 
of Ballaladeva, which could only mean pay- 
ment to Ballaladeva as a sort of a tribute or 
something akin to it. No. 101 also from the 
Govindaraja shrine is of the twelfth year and 
seems to be a communication, exactly like the 
previous one, and No. 102 comes from the temple 
on the hill. It is a document of some importance 
and refers to the stanattar of Tirumalai to whom a 
representation was addressed in person by Srlman 
Mahapradhani Immadi Rahutta Rayan Sin- 
gayya Dannayakan. It was a request that a 
festival in the month of Adi and a food service 
called Sitagaragandan in the name of Singayya 
Dannayaka should be instituted. For this the 
son-in-law Tiruvenkatanatha Yadavaraya made 
a sarvamSnya gift of Pongalur belonging to 



and renamed Singannanallur free 
of all demands. It was also ordered that stones 
with the marks of the Vishnu disc should bfe 
planted round the village to mark the boundary, 
and from the revenue drawn therefrom the 
expenses of these services be met from time to 
time. In addition to these two the food service 
for Vira Narasingapperumal and Tirumangai 
Alvar at Tirupati must also be arranged for. 
Further thirty-two or! Vaishnavas should be fed 
in the Sitagaragandan Matham. After meeting 
all these expenses the rest of the income should 
be applied for the maintenance of a flower- 
garden and a water-shed in the hill, in the name 
of Singayya, as also any other charitable service 
that may be required. These were placed under 
the direction of the Sri Vaishnavas and the order 
was directed to be put. in stone and copper as 
a permanent record. 


Here Singayya Dandanayaka is given the title 
Immadi Rahutta and the official position of 
Mahapradhani. The food service instituted in 
his name is to be called Ritagaragandan, which 
would mean that he had the title Sitagara- 
ganda. Who was this person, a Dandanayaka, 
a Mahapradhani with the titles Sitagara and 
Immadi Rahutta, who figures in Tirupati in this 
prominence ? The very name Sitagaraganda 



(one who kept the profligate under control) 
indicates his Kanarese origin. Dandanayaka 
is a well-known title popularised into Dannayak, 
the title given to all dignitaries of rank, both 
civil and military, in the Kannada country. 
Mahapradhani is a well-known office under the 
Hoysala rulers which occurs sometimes even 
in Vijayanagar records, but is not found in 
the records of the Tamil country, as in fact even 
the title Dannayaka. Singayya Dannayaka 
certainly was an officer of the Hoysala ruler 
Vlra Ballala, whose reign covered the period 
A. D. 1292 to 1342. This Ballala ruler began 
his reign with his father's Brahman minister, 
Perumala Dandanayaka, who was a very distin- 
guished officer under Narasimha III, Hoysala. 
His son was a Madhava Dandanayaka, who 
held similar high office under Vlra BaHala 
with dates early in the reign, A. D. 1310-11, 
while the father's date falls in about A. D. 1292. 
This Madhava Dandanayaka had two sons, 
Ketayya Dandanayaka and Singayya Danda- 
nayaka who similarly held office under Ballala III. 
It was Madhava Dandanayaka, not his father, 
who acquired the jaghlr of Padinalku Nadu 
within the Mysore territory of the present day, 
and had made what is now the village Terukka- 
Qambi in the Ghindlepet Taluk of Mysore, his 
capital. They were all of them Brahman officers 



of rank under the Hoysalas and the title 
Mahapradhani given to all of them is an 
indication that they wielded the highest authority 
in the state next the king. They became after- 
wards associated with Dannayakankottai below 
the Ghats, and came to be known as Da^ayakan- 
kottai chiefs. That is, however, later. But as 
yet they were officers under Vira Ballala III, 
the last great Hoysala monarch. 


officers, Perumala Dandanayaka does not concern 
us, a very distinguished officer under Vira 
Ballala III and his father though he was. His 
dates were probably in the 13th century, 
perhaps the last decade of it. His son Madhava 
Dandanayaka has a date about A. D. 1310-11, 
and succeeded to the position of his father 
under Vira Ballala. He acquired the jaghlr of 
Terukanambi. His sons were two Ketayya 
Dandanayaka and Singana Dandanayaka, both 
of which names appear in the Tirupati records. 
From Mysore inscriptions we have dates for 
both. Of these one record gives Ketayya 
Dandanayaka's date as A. D. 132122, and 
another Singa^ia's as A. D. 1338. Without being 
too precise, we may say that these were both of 
them officers who succeeded to the position of 



the father, and were trusted lieutenants of the 
Hoysala monarch under Vlra Ballala during the 
first forty years of the 14th century. Having 
regard to the dates of the father and the grand- 
father, we cannot well carry them backward to 
anywhere near the middle of the 14th century. 
We have noticed already that the last date we 
know of for Vlra Narasingadeva is the 12th 
year of Sundara Pa^ya which would mean 
A. D. 126364. Taking that in combination with 
the date found in No. 90 of the Tirupati inscrip- 
tions, he would have had a period of authority 
extending over 59 years. So a date A. D. 1263 
64 should be rather close to the end of his reign 
period. Whether Tiruvengadanatha Yadavaraya, 
associated with Sing-ana Dandanayaka could be 
an immediate successor of Vlra Narasinga is 
matter for pronouncing upon on evidence of 
which we have nothing quite definite. The 
records in Tirupati referring to this Tiruvengada- 
natha happen to be the 9th and 12th years of 
his own reign, which do not lead us to anything 
definite. But in No. 102 of the Tirupati inscrip- 
tions coming from the hill shrine, he is referred 
to as Marukan&r or son-in-law. Whose son-in-law 
was he ? Sadhu Subramagya Sastri has taken 
this to mean that his son-in-law was Singaija 
Dai?4anayaka, notwithstanding the fact he was 
a Brahman officer which he apparently does 



not know and the whole account he tries to 
evolve in respect of these is confused and 
contradictory. As the Tamil records read, the 
term Maruhaaar cannot apply to Singana, and is 
descriptive only of Tiruvengadanatha. If that 
term should be held to describe the relationship 
between him and Singana, it could only be that 
he was Singana's son-in-law. But the collocation 
of words as they occur in this record would 
not justify that interpretation. Could it be 
that Tiruvengadanatha Yadavaraya was the 
son-in-law of Vira Narasinga ? At the worst 
Maruhanar Tiruvengadanatha Yadavaraya could 
only mean that Tiruvengadanatha was the 
son-in-law of the ruling Yadavaraya just at the 
time or before. The known date for Singana 
Nayaka is A. D. 1338. That may be a very late 
date, and it may not be unjustifiable to take the 
beginning of his activity as a Hoysala officer to 
the commencement of the century while yet the 
father was wielding his authority as the principal 
officer under the Hoysala monarch. Even so, it 
is more than 30 years distant from the last known 
date of Vira Narasinga. While therefore it 
would be quite possible he was Vira Narasinga's 
son-in-law, it would be difficult to assert it 
without further evidence. Other possibilities are 
that he was a son-in-law of an unknown officer 
of Vira Narasinga, who still held authority 



either in the region of Tirupati or round 
about. This is unlikely as Vlra Narasinga was 
still in authority. In any ease he certainly 
could not have been the father-in-law of Singana 
for one thing. That is so far as the personal 
relations between the two are concerned. But the 
really more important point for us is the political 
relationship between the two. Mr. Subramanya 
Sastri goes the length of suggesting that Singana 
and his elder brother Ketayya were officers of the 
Hoysalas who simultaneously took service also 
under the Yadavarayas, which, from all that 
we know of the matter, seems hopelessly 
impossible. It cannot be argued from all that 
we know that even a powerful man like Vlra 
Narasinga was at any time any more than a 
feudatory ruler who might have comported 
himself as an independent ruler. Nowhere 
does he openly declare himself as such. 
What indeed was not done by a powerful ruler 
like Vlra Narasinga, it would be difficult to 
ascribe to a successor, either immediate or 
remote, whatever his position, except on the 
assumption that the higher authority had ceased 
to exist. The Chola power undoubtedly had 
gone out of existence, but these chieftains 
Were openly under the Pa94y a hegemony. The 
power of the Pan<Jyas had not quite gone 
out of existence, and the last great Pa$<Jya, 



Maravarman Kulasekhara Pandya and his 
lieutenants exercised authority over both the 
Pandyan and the Chola kingdoms, though his 
authority may not have extended to the region 
round Vengadam in any real sense of the term. 
But then what had these Hoysala officers, 
particularly Singana Nayaka to do with the 
region ? We have now to go back upon a 
short retrospect. 


MUHAMMADAN INVASIONS. Just a few years after 
the last year of Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya, 
there was a change in the Pandya succession. 
Jatavarman Sundara Pandya, the chief ruler 
passed away, and his place was taken by a 
Maravarman Kulasekhara, who ruled for more 
than 40 years, his reign ending in A. D. 1309-10. 
There were other Pandyas, who ruled as his 
lieutenants, and it is just possible there was a 
Jatavarman Sundara Pandya II between him 
and the first Jatavarman Sundara. That is 
not very material to our purpose. During the 
period of Maravarman Kulasekhara Pandya, his 
authority, as the supreme ruler of Tamil India, 
was recognised both in the Pandya and Chola 
kingdoms, and he is spoken of as very often 
residing in the Chola capital of Mudikondasola- 
puram, sometimes also Jayamkondasolapuram, 
not far off, during his reign. At least one of 



his sons, a Vira Pan^ya, was active in the 
region of Kongu and the parts corresponding 
farther eastward ; and, in his activities, he 
is reported to have come into clash with the 
Hoysalas, and the Hoysala army was sometimes 
drawn towards the Kongu border against him. 
This would mean that the frontiers of both the 
powers had become doubtful and frontier wars 
were not unusual. Vira Pandya had been 
installed in authority in A. D. 1292 or 1293, 
almost about the same time that Vira Ballala 
succeeded to the Hoysala throne. The accession 
of this Ballala brought about a union of the 
Tamil and the Kannada parts of the Hoysala 
kingdom which were under the rule of two 
brothers immediately previous to him, Narasimha 
ruling over the Mysore country and beyond, 
and his brother Ramanatha ruling in the Tamil 
portions of the Hoysala dominions. Ramanatha 
claimed two capitals one in the Chola country, 
the old Hoysala capital Vikrarnapura or 
Kaimanflr, and the other farther to the north in 
the Baramahal part of the Salem District, in a 
place called Kundani or Hesar Kundani in those 
days. Ramanatha died, and a son of his by 
name Visvanatha after two or three years of 
precarious existence passed out of view. There- 
after Vira Ballala stands forth as the one Hoysala 
ruler of the whole of the Hoysala empire. This 



naturally would begin to come into clash with 
the successors of the Cholas, that is, the great 
Pandya Maravarman Kulasekhara and his 
lieutenants. This position was complicated by the 
progress of Muhammadan conquests gradually 
in the Dakhan which began with an invasion of 
Devagiri by the generals of Allaud-din Khilji in 
A. D. 1306. This was followed by other 
campaigns which ended ultimately in the annexa- 
tion of Devagiri to the empire of the Khiljis. 
Next came the turn of the Kakatiya rulers of 
Warangal, and that was overthrown after two 
wars in A. D. 1309. Then it came to the turn of 
South India. In the course of that South Indian 
invasion under Malik Kafur, ordered by 
Allaud-din, a raid on the Hoysalas was an 
incident. The invading army encamped itself 
near Sholapur in the jaghir of the Dalavay 
Parasuram Dev, General of the Devagiri ruler, 
and from there a raid was conducted up to the 
Hoysala capital, probably a quick cavalry 
march which succeeded wonderfully as the 
Hoysala armies were occupied on the southern 
frontier of Kongu against the activities of Vira 
Pandya referred to above. The invasion was 
so far successful that it plundered the capital 
of the Hoysalas after having partly destroyed it, 
and carried the raid much further to the coast 
of the Arabian sea. It was afterwards that the 



armies inarched on South India, and, after 
having plundered the temples of the South, 
including Srirangam, Chidambaram, Madura, 
and even Ramesvaram, the Muhammadan 
armies retired from the Tamil country. The 
Muhammadan danger was not altogether over as 
yet completely. After the raid on the Hoysala 
capital however, Vlra Baljala was made to siie 
for peace. A representation in his favour was 
sent up to headquarters with the recommendation 
of Malik Kafur, and the Hoysala prince was sent 
out on this mission. It was graciously received 
at headquarters, and the Hoysala was accepted 
as nominal feudatory of the empire ; and the 
prince was sent back with honours. According 
to a Hoysala record, * there were rejoicings on 
the return of the prince in A. D. 1313. So the 
Hoysala managed to save himself from this 
Muhammadan danger which threatened his very 
existence, and, having managed it more or less 
skilfully, he was reorganising his resources and 
putting himself in a position of some strength as 
against future contingencies. 


AUTHORITY. It is in the course of his activity in 
the following years that he seems to have 

* Epi. Car. VII, Ch. 68, SewelPe Hist. Ins. of South 
India, p. 178. 



stretched himself out into the region next 
adjoining his territory gradually. That must 
have brought him into the region of Tirupati. 
The years following the return of Malik Kafur 
in A. I). 1311 were years of trouble in the capital 
till Mubarak placed himself on the throne in 
A. D. 1316. During these five years, the 
Muhammadan danger ceased to be real in South 
India. Mubarak's reign proved to be brilliant 
but very brief; and an invasion that came under 
his orders to the South met with the success 
that they looked for, and his general Khusru 
returned to the capital to play his part in the 
disturbances that followed and left the Dakhan 
and South India pretty much to themselves. 
In Mubarak's reign, the Maharashtra kingdom 
of Devagiri actually became a part of the Mughal 
empire, and Mubarak tried to strengthen himself 
by planting Muhammadan garrisons at salient 
points in the Mahratta country, which, to the 
Hoysala, must have seemed a direct threat 
against his northern frontier. He had to be 
therefore alive and active as his northern frontier 
was in grave and perpetual danger. In the 
south things were propitious for his activity. 
The Tamil country suffered from the invasion of 
Malik Kafur, and an effort made by Ravivarman 
Kulasekhara from the Travancore country, while 
it just recovered the Tamil country from the 



grip of the Muhammadans, failed to provide 
an organisation of any permanence. So the 
field seemed open to the exploitation of any 
enterprising neighbour, and the Hoysala was the 
only one in the locality. It was apparently this 
that made him cast his eyes upon Tiruvanna- 
malai as a salient position in which he could 
place himself with advantage to be in touch 
with his own kingdom, and, if possible, prevent 
any advance of the Muhammadans into the 
Tamil country, should any further effort in that 
direction be made. That would offer him a safe 
place of retirement for himself if he should be 
attacked by the Muhammadans again from the 
north. The result of this activity on the part 
of the Hoysala is what we see here in the region 
of Tirupati in the presence of Singana Nayaka 
or Singayya Dandanayaka. As we see it in the 
records of Tirupati, Singayya Nayaka is not 
there in the course of a hostile incursion, nor is 
he there seeking the hospitality of the local ruler 
for the time being. We rather see him issuing 
orders, and being honoured by institutions of 
festivals and the naming of towns in his name, 
and of provisions being made for services in the 
temple for his good. Singana Dandanayaka is 
here as the superior authority whose orders the 
local ruler for the time being felt called upon 
to carry out. No. 99 of the Tirupati inscriptions 



is the institution of food services in Tirupati by 
Singayya Dandanayaka in honour of another 
officer Rachayya Dandanayaka, for which the 
village of Pongalur was to be a sarvamanyam 
gift to the temple, and the order was issued in a 
letter which conveyed the information that they 
might indite the grant both in stone and copper 
as a permanent gift. In No. 102 on the contrary, 
it is the Tirupati stanattar who say that they 
instituted the festival in the month of Adi, 
and a food service named Sitagaraganda both 
in honour of Singayyadeva. This time the 
sarvamanya village of Pongalur is named 
Singayyanallur in honour of the officer. It does 
very many other things all of them intended for 
his honour. The food services were provided 
for Vira Narasingapperumal and Tirumangai 
Alvar in the temple. 32 Vaishnavas were to 
be fed in the Matham or hall of Sitayaragaqda, 
which means that that building, or public hall, 
must have been constructed either by Singayya, 
or in his honour by others. There was to be a 
provision for a flower-garden and a shed for 
supply of water, etc. Of course the whole of 
these charities is placed as usual under the 
protection of the ri Vaishnavas of the locality. 
Tiruvengadanatha Yadavaraya simply figures 
here as the officer who did the needful to trans- 
form the village completely into a sarvamanya 



village. He is obviously and undoubtedly in 
the position of a subordinate officer carrying 
out the orders of a superior in Singayya Danda- 
nayaka. This position would be justified only if 
this region had been brought more or less under 
the authority and protection of the Hoysala 
ruler for the time being, and the officers were 
actually engaged first in the conquest of the 
district, and then in the maintenance of the 
authority of their master. This finds the fullest 
justification in record No. 100, which makes 
reference to a Vallaladevar vari, a tax or duty 
levied in the name of Ballaladeva, which means a 
cess or duty collected either for payment to 
Ballaladeva, or for some other use in his name. 
That could not be unless he were a ruler whose 
authority they were bound to respect, and this 
tax could be nothing more than a tribute paid to 
that authority perhaps to let them carry on their 
administration as hitherto though under the 
Ballala suzerain authority. 

This position of the Ballala could be 
understood easily if we remembered that as soon 
as the Tughlaks established themselves in 
authority in Delhi in A. D. 1320, their attention 
was called to the Dakhan, and there was a threat 
of an invasion of the further south in A. D. 1323 
which was saved by the outbreak of cholera in 



the camp of Muhammad Tughlak. Muhammad 
Tughlak did not forget it, and was likely to have 
undertaken an invasion the next year but for the 
fact that his attention was called to Delhi, where 
he had to remain when his father was out in 
suppressing a rebellion in Bengal. It was on his 
victorious return that he was assasinated, and 
Muhammad succeeded to the position. Soon 
after his accession, Muhammad had to come to 
the south against his cousin who set up in 
rebellion in what is now the Nizam's Dominions 
and in the Southern Mahratta country where he 
held a government The success that was then 
achieved would naturally bring him on further. 
He sent out another invasion in A. D. 1827 which 
damaged the Hoysala capital far more gravely 
than before, and made the Bajlala move into 
Tiruvannamalai, and make it more or less his 
permanent residence as being a more strategically 
central position being on the high road between 
the north and the south, and along the line of 
communication. It could not be that the Ballala 
resolved to make Tiruvannamalai his place 
of residence, or an alternative capital of 
Tiruvannamalai town itself, unless he had some 
hold over the surrounding country and could 
exercise his authority over the region. The 
Hoysala conquest, the slow and gradual conquest 
by the Hoysalas, of these parts seem justified 



by these documents which bring Singana Danda- 
nayaka into the region of Tirupati. 


SINGANA DANDANAYAKA. Without going any 
further in this matter, we may take the name of 
another Yadavaraya which figures in the next 
following inscriptions of the first volume of 
the Tirupati Devastanam inscriptions. No. 103 
refers to the 3rd year of orl Ranganatha 
Yadavaraya, which refers to the disposal of 
certain pieces of land which were forest belong- 
ing to Tiruvengadamudaiyan, and sold for 
200 panams. Arrangements were made for the 
irrigation of this land. The next inscription is 
of the same year and of the same ruler, and 
refers to this Singana Dandanayaka, whose 
father's name is also given by his being called 
Madappan Singana Nayaka with his usual titles. 
The document seems to refer to his purchase of 
a Matha and a flower-garden from certain Jlyars 
(ascetic Vaishnavas) in management of certain 
properties belonging to the temple, and making 
them over to be maintained as the charitable 
gift of the officer. Further the document seems to 
refer to his having paid another 400 gold panams 
with a view to feeding pilgrims on a certain 
festival day in one of the Nandavanas (flower- 
gardens) to which the Grod and the Goddess 



should be taken on certain festivals. It also 
refers to the taking of the God to the flower- 
garden named after Vaiji atag5pa, apparently 
in reference to the Alvar for which another 
provision of 100 panams had been made. All 
these were placed under the protection of the 
Sri Vaishnavas. The point calling for notice 
here is that ri Ranganatha Yadavaraya is 
brought into connection with Singana Nayaka 
pretty early in his reign, that is, in his 3rd year. 
The next one No. 105 refers to the 9th year of 
this Yadavaraya, but there is no other detail 
worth our attention. No. 106 comes from the 
hill shrine as do the previous two documents, 
and refers to the 19th year and makes provision 
for the taking out of the god on the fourth day 
of some festival to the flower pavilion called 
Chedirayan, and makes provision for the distri- 
bution of food for which money was paid into 
the treasury. No. 107 is from the same temple 
and refers to the same Yadavaraya. But very 
unfortunately his regnal year and the name 
of the year, both of which were apparently set 
down in the document, are lost, as otherwise 
we would have had a precise date for him ; but, 
the other Panchanga details given seem to 
indicate that the year under reference must be 
either A. D. 1330 or 1333, perhaps the latter 
better. It is again a provision for some kind of 



food service. The document is partially gone. 
This document, even in this imperfect condition, 
seems to indicate clearly that ori Ranganatha 
Yadavaraya lived some time about A. D. 1330 or 
1333 as also Singana Dandanayaka. From this 
perhaps we can make the inference that Yadava 
6r!ranga followed Yadava Tiruvengadanatha, 
and both of them were contemporaries of Hoysala 
Singana Dandanayaka. No. 108 comes from the 
Govindaraja shrine and seems to be a record 
of an agreement between the governing body 
of the locality and a certain number of other 
individuals, among whom are the Yadavaraya 
Vilupparaiyan, Sola Vilupparaiyan, Trigartaraya 
and another Vilupparaiyan, with the former 
portion gone, together with the weavers and 
devotees of Emberuman, which seems here to 
refer to God : it might also be Ramanuja who 
had the name. But the rest of the document is 
gone. No. 109 conies from the hill shrine and 
contains a couple of verses glorifying Sri 
Ranganatha. It seems to refer to the enemies 
he conquered, and the 16th year of his reign. 
No. 110 coming from the same shrine refers to a 
oasikula Chalukki Sangramarama, certainly a 
Yadavaraya, but we can hardly be certain that 
it was rl Ranganatha Yadavaraya. The date 
happens to be recorded here, apparently in the 
$aka year; but the figures before the 100 are 



gone, while 181 is left over. It may be 
1100 or 1200, or another number of hundreds. 
But the name of the year Vikari being given, 
the year under reference seems to be Saka 1281, 
which would mean A. D. 1359. It may not be 
quite too late for Sri Ranganatha Yadavaraya, 
but we cannot be quite certain whether it is he 
that is referred to. Nos. Ill and 112 come 
from the same shrine and simply put down the 
name of the Sitagaragandan Matha of Singana 


No. 113 is of some importance, although the 
document is gone in vital parts. It refers 
to rl Nayanar Yadavaraya with obviously 
Tribhuvanachakravarti going before. But the 
actual name of the Yadavaraya is not given. 
All that we can be certain about is it was still 
a Yadavaraya ruler. The year and month 
might have been given, but they are gone. All 
that is left is the month and the date 29, 
and then follows a reference to a Mahanayaka 
Erramanchi Periya Pamiminayaka, that is the 
elder (Periya) Pammanayaka of Erramanchi. 
The titles given to him are obviously Vijaya- 
nagar titles. He made the donation in cows and 
bull for one perpetual lamp to Tiruvenga^am- 
udaiyaa. It is stated however that he came 



there " for the Vasanta ". Probably he visited 
the temple during the Vasanta (April May) 
festival. No. 114 is a similar inscription which 
mentions a oilman Mahanayangacharya with 
the other attributes of the previous inscriptions 
and refers to a Bapu Nayakar Pemmanayakar 
providing for a perpetual lamp. Like the 
previous document No. 113, this also has the 
same indication making it perhaps really 
referable to the next following period. No. 115 
merely mentions Yadavanrpa. Nos. 116 and 117 
coming from the hill shrine are of some interest. 
The first refers to the granting of what is called 
Vaikuntha-Hasta to the god on the hill by a 
certain Ahobalaraya which is in gratitude to 
the God for giving the people the promise of 
Heaven by the pose of the hand. The next is a 
Tamil record to the same effect except that 
here an Aubalaraya is described as the Yadava 
ruler of Tanjai (Tanjore). We cannot say what 
exactly his position was, and whether he was 
really a successor of the other Yadavarayas, 
and why his name gets associated with Tanjore 
in particular. 

we begin with a number of miscellaneous inscrip- 
tions, all of them being records of gifts of 
various kinds and institution of certain services 



in the temple. Most of these inscriptions are 
too much mutilated to make much from out 
of them. But some of them that do contain 
some little information do not admit of the 
information being properly described for want 
of full details. The first one of any importance 
is No. 150 which is a small record and seems to 
be complete, though the meaning is obscure. It 
refers to a particular place called the pavilion 
of Seranaivenran the pavilion of ' the person who 
conquered the Chera, ' possibly in reference to 
Ravivarman Kulasekhara's march up and he is 
described as one of the lords whose function it 
was to issue orders or send up communications. 
Nos. 171 and 172 come from the hill shrine. 
The first refers to Udaiyavar and speaks of a 
certain charitable gift, and in the last line there 
is the name Anandalvan ; and the next one 
refers to a grandson of Anandalvan, apparently 
referring to a service that he arranged for. 
No. 173 similarly refers to the Acharyapurushas, 
and, among them, what seems to be Anandalvan 
Filial and the flower-garden that he made on the 
hill. No. 175 refers similarly to the garden, 
Ramanuja. It will be remembered that the 
principal flower-garden laid out and cultivated 
by Anandalvar was called by this name accord- 
ing to the Venkaffichala ItihasamSla. No. 176 
seems to define the boundary between Tirupati 



and Avulali, elsewhere called Avilali. No. 177 
refers to a Kamavilli of Puvainagar. He is said 
to have constructed a tank in Tirupati as a 
charitable gift, as one among the 32 charities 
that his mother had taken occasion to teach 
him about. That brings us to the end of the 
miscellaneous inscriptions, and the records 
following refer themselves to Vijayanagara 




With Vijayanagara we may regard ourselves 
as entering, so far as the history of Tirupati is 
concerned, upon the modern period. Up to that 
the history of Tirupati would be more or less of 
the nature of imperfect documents upon which 
we have had to depend for a regular history of 
the period, and what we have been able to 
gather would more or less be of a character 
almost in keeping with this. We may roughly 
take the middle of the 14th century as the 
parting line between the one and the other, and, 
having come so far collecting and considering 
all the disjecta membra of information so far 
made available it would perhaps be well to 
gather together in summary what of the real 
history of the holy shrine at Tirupati we have 
been able to gain so far. While the history of 
the shrine may be said to go back to the 
commencement of the Christian era, we have no 
definite information as to who the first human 
founder of the temple was. It is what is called a 
shrine self-create (svayambhu-sthala), but, as far 
as the historical position is concerned, Ton<Jaman 



Chakravarti, as he is called in later literature, 
must be regarded as the human founder. He 
was by all accounts mentioned as a ruler of the 
locality having his capital near the hill which 
could be reached from there even by an under* 
ground passage. We must take it, therefore, 
that he ruled from some place like Narayana- 
vanam and a few of the other places round 
about as constituting townships of importance in 
the locality in later history. 


TIRUPATI. Another feature of the tradition 
regarding him is that he was the son of a Chola 
ruler by a Naga princess which we may take to 
mean a princess, daughter of the local ruler. 
The Tondaman's arrangements for the conduct 
of worship in the temple were not anything of 
his own foundation, as there were already two 
devotees, a Brahman and a Sudra who were on 
their own account engaged in the service, the 
Vaikhanasa Brahman for the ritual worship, and 
the &fidra engaged in the external service 
necessary to conduct worship, such as the 
supply of flowers and other things which would 
be needed for the conduct of the daily worship 
even according to the Vaikhanasa rites. The 
period, according to the Pauraijdc sources which 
are the only source for this period of history, 



is said to be somewhere between the beginning 

of the Vikrama era and the oaka era, that is, in 

the first century B. C. or A. D. That is as far as 

the traditional origin of it goes. We find the 

shrine in Tirupati figuring in the earliest secular 

sources of information we have for South India, 

and is already a shrine with arrangements for 

not merely conducting the daily worship but 

even some of the more important annual festivals. 

The earliest writer mentioning this that we know 

of is the poet Mamulanar, one of the great 

celebrities of the Sangam literature. He says 

specifically that Tirupati was famed for its annual 

festivals. We quoted references to the worship 

of Vishnu among the early deities from a poem 

of Nakkirar, and a reference to the existence of 

one of the shrines in Kanchi in the days of 

Tondaman Ilam Tiraiyan from the Perumban- 

arruppadai. It need not therefore be regarded 

as anything improbable that a shrine should have 

existed in Tirupati. With these poets and poems 

we are almost introduced to the first Alvars or 

the Vaishnava saints. They are three of them 

who had the reputation, in the estimation of 

even the later saints, as writers of classical 

Tamil (&en-Tami) Their three centa are 

regarded by Vaishijavas as in a way specially 

dedicated to the Vishnu shrine in Tirupati. We 

have collected above all the relevant details, 



and, on a consideration of these details, we have 
no hesitation in affirming that the shrine was 
regarded as a Vishnu shrine, and the image 
therein as an ipaage of Vishnu, notwithstanding 
features which later on came to be regarded as 
representing other deities. This peculiarity of 
features is fully explained not only in the works 
of these early Alvars but even in some of the 
later ones. The explanations offered ought to 
satisfy every one that is a believer in Vaish^avaic 
Hinduism as such ; to the outsider who examines 
it altogether from an extra devotional point of 
view, these peculiar features would seem strange 
indeed, as being, more or less, those not ordinari- 
ly met with in one's own experience. Assuming 
for the moment that the image had a human 
origin and the temple a ihuman foundation, the 
image representing the deity would be the 
translation in material form of the ideas that the 
founder wished should be incorporated in the 
image representing the deity. Having regard to 
the circumstances of the time and of the 
prevailing religious conditions, we can state it 
with confidence that the period was one in 
which people were making an effort to provide 
for worship for the masses of people, possibly 
with a view to wean them from attachment to, 
and the attractions of, other contemporary 
religious such as Jainism and Buddhism. It was 



therefore a period not so much of distinction, 
much less of antagonism, between Vaishnavism 
and Saivism ; but it was much rather of Hinduism, 
a kind of transformed Brahmanism as against 
the two heretical religions from the point of view 
of the Hindu. Having regard to this, they would 
rather lay the emphasis upon the similarities 
between Vishnu and Siva, and the underlying 
unity, rather than bring into prominence the 
distinction in character between the two. Hence 
certain features, which may well form the basis 
for contention as to the real character of the 
image, would seem unavoidable. But even so, 
it is remarkable that, from the earliest times, the 
shrine was regarded as .a Vishnu shrine and the 
image that of Vishnu. Besides the three Slvars, 
and a fourth, who have to be regarded as coming 
close after the age of Mamulanar and Nakkirar, 
and Rudran Kannan all Sangam celebrities, we 
find Nammalvar giving the same character, as 
also the other Sjlvars till we come to 5jvar 
Tirumangai in the middle of the 8th century. 
That is not all. Their contemporaries the aiva 
Adiyars and the Nayanmars who wrote as largely 
on their devotion to Siva and of the places 
specially dedicated to the worship of Siva, give 
no indication whatever of their having felt at any 
time that the hill shrine at Tirupati was ever a 
Saiva shrine. Kalahasti not far off, one of the 



primary Saiva holy places, has been visited by 
all these prominent saints, and they celebrate it 
in their poems. Since they went and visited 
Kalahasti and celebrated the shrine there, we 
cannot say that they did not know of Tirupati, 
or hear of it. Nevertheless we do not find them 
mentioning Tirupati as among their holy places, 
not to say that they have not celebrated it as a 
Siva shrine. We have already noted that there 
are a few secular references from the Hindu 
point of view, and they leave it in no doubt and 
state it, as plainly as language would admit, that 
Tirupati was a Vishnu shrine. The author of 
the Silappadhikaram, who was not a Brahman 
Hindu, states it in the clearest terms that the 
hill shrine at Tirupati was a Vishnu shrine. So 
does the author of the Bharata Veqba at the end 
of this period, that is, at the commencement of 
the 9th century ; this couples Tirupati and 
Kanchi as places specially dedicated to Vishnu. 
The earliest inscription which refers to this 
temple belongs to a generation or two previous 
to the author of the Bharata VeybS, and 
that refers to Tirupati as a Vishnu shrine. 
Hence we have to regard it that, whatever the 
character of the image or the peculiar features 
that it exhibits, the place passed in the estima- 
tion of the people as a Vaishgava holy place, 
and the temple a Vaishnava shrine, during the 
first eight centuries of its existence. 



down we come to the age of the Acharyas who 
followed the Alvars and continued their teaching, 
and the accounts of the Guruparamparas refer to 
visits to Tirupati by the first JLcharya Nadamuni. 
The next important person among this group, 
Nadamuni's grandson Yamunacharya is said not 
merely to have paid a visit some time in his life 
but even to have felt, perhaps as a result of the 
visit, that the arrangements for the flower-service 
to the Grod was not satisfactory, and wanted that 
some stout-hearted person should make up his 
mind to go and settle down in Tirupati and devote 
himself to that service. It is as a result of this 
that one of his grandsons Tirumalai Nambi went 
and settled down in Tirupati with his father 
and two young unmarried sisters, from one of 
whom was to be born later on Ramanuja, the 
Vaishnava teacher. Tirumalai Nambi became a 
permanent inhabitant of the hill, and some of 
those that live in Tirupati to-day claim descent 
directly from him. The fact is therefore con- 
firmed by Ramanuja having had to go to this 
uncle of his at Tirupati to learn the esoteric 
teaching of the Ramayana as he had received it 
from his own grandfather Yamunacharya. So 
although tradition is our only authority for some 
of these specific facts, we can still hold that 
there is a continuous tradition that the shrine 



was one dedicated to Vishnu, that the Vaishiiavas 
regarded it as a holy place of pilgrimage to 
which they went on pilgrimage, and certain of 
the Vaishnavas came to regard it as their special 
charge and even made efficient arrangements as 
far as they could, for the care of the shrine in a 
locality not as yet well-inhabited, perhaps not 
quite comfortably habitable as yet. That was 
the state of affairs regarding the temple till we 
come to the days of Ramanuja. 


AT TIRUPATI. It was during the life-time of 
Ramanuja that a controversy arose which has 
given rise to different notions regarding the 
character of the shrine itself. Ramanuja's was 
about the age, taking into it a generation or 
two before him, when the sects were forming 
distinctly, and even tried more or less to separate 
themselves into distinct groups in Hindu society. 
One of the incidents in the course of this 
development is the natural assertion and counter- 
assertion of the superiority of iva and Vishnu, 
in fact the supreme character of the one or other 
of these. This kind of a contention got set up 
with impunity, as, at the time the rival creeds of 
Jainism and Buddhism had not perhaps as great 
a vogue as in the centuries preceding. Certain 
other historical circumstances also encouraged a 
movement like this. Ramanuja's life was cast in 



the period when the Cholas were the chief power 
in the Tamil country. The Chola monarchs 
were most of them iSaivas personally, and some 
of them very ardent ones. Notwithstanding 
their personal devotion to the oaiva faith, as 
rulers they took care not to become partisan in 
public matters, and, as far as it came their 
way, they supported Vaishnava shrines and the 
Vaishnavas as well. In an age of controversy 
however and contention between the sects, these 
rulers were bound to be drawn into the struggle, 
and they might sometimes have let themselves 
go in support of those of their own conviction to 
some extent. But the really important feature 
is the existence of these controversies. We have 
a tradition that the ruler of Madura invited 
Periyalvar to take part in a controversy raised 
by a Saiva divine, and so was Yamunacharya, 
the great-grandfather of Ramanuja. The advent 
of the Cholas to power gave much support to 
aivism, as in fact it is stated in the records of 
the Cholas that Aditya, the second ruler of the 
new dynasty, built as may as 300 shrines to 
Siva on the banks of the Kaveri. Whether the 
number was actually 300 or not, he was respon- 
sible for a large number of oaiva shrines. This 
would mean undoubtedly a rise in the following, 
and consequently in the influence of Saivism. 
The Vaishnavas were apparently organising 


themselves also as a sect ; but they do not 
appear to have had a similar influential 
support to begin with. But still they collected 
together round important teachers and were 
gaming in influence also. Matters came to a 
head at a time when Ramanuja had to work his 
way gradually up to a position of infhience as 
the leading teacher among the Vaishnavas, and 
the legitimate occupant of the apostolic seat 
of his great-grandfather Yamunacharya at 
rirangam. Although the ruler contemporary 
at the time was the enlightened ChSla 
Kulottunga I, these controversies and controver- 
sialists could not be silenced, and it is one 
of these individual controversies that was 
responsible for Ramanuja's exile from Srirangam, 
as was stated already. The period therefore of 
Ramanuja's life was one of rising sectarianism 
and sectarian controversies in which even 
enlightened rulers were being, willingly or 
unwillingly, drawn. It was about this time 
while Ramanuja was occupying his position as 
teacher of the Vaishnavas at Srirangam, in 
considerable influence among his followers, that 
the question of the character of the Tirupati 
shrine arose. 


cardinal facts of Ramanuja's life, although there 
is no undoubted evidence of history either from 



inscriptions or other similar sources, is his having 
had to go into exile from Srirangam as a result 
of this sectarian animosity. We have discussed 
the matter in full in the earlier part of the work, 
and we need not go into details here. 
Enlightened ruler that Kulottunga was, his part 
in the controversy was that of a oaiva ruler of 
the locality, and his inviting prominent people to 
take part in a controversy, not of his own 
creation. It was purely a question of a challenge 
by a aiva teacher of eminence to disprove his 
thesis of the supremacy of Siva in Hinduism ; of 
course on the face of it it was a controversial 
question. Rulers seem to have felt they were 
bound to let the disputants come into cotirt 
and prove their case to the satisfaction of the 
assembled court. Kulottunga seems to have had 
nothing further than this in his mind in inviting 
Ramanuja to dispute the Saiva controversialists. 
What took place is a result not directly of 
fanaticism in religion, but of the secular offence 
that he took at what he might well have 
considered an irrelevantly impertinent remark 
by Kftrattalvan. So Ramanuja had to be in 
exile from his country, and could return to 
Srirangam only after the death of Kulottunga I. 
The incident merely indicated the sectarian 
stir at the time, during the active period of 
Kulottunga's life, and even those of his 



successors. From such evidence as is available 
in the inscriptions round Tirupati we could infer 
the favour that had been shown to Saivism by 
those Saiva officers of the Cholas who made 
numbers of donations to the Siva temple at 
Tirucchanur, while we might almost say there 
were hardly more than a few donations made 
y Vaishnava officers or others about the 
?ame period to the Vaishnava temples in the 
neighbourhood, both on the hill and down 
below. Even so a record of Kulottunga in 
Tirupati itself refers to the god as "Tiruvayppa<Ji 
Tirumalai Slvar " meaning Krishna, just as the 
Mudal Alvars do. It would therefore raise the 
presumption that, at the time, the aiva tide 
was running strong round the region as a cousin 
of Bamanuja himself had become a devotee of 
oiva and was living in Kalahasti, whom the 
uncle Tirumalai Nambi could reclaim only after 
persistent effort. That seems to have been a 
period unfortunately when, owing perhaps to 
some calamity or other which might have 
befallen the few families of Vaishnavas in 
Tirupati engaged in the temple service, the 
temple service had fallen into neglect, and the 
shrine itself, to some considerable extent, not 
looked after carefully. It seems possible that 
this untoward condition wad taken advantage 
of and a claim set up, not necessarily by all the 


Saivas. btit by a small but influential body of 

A A 

Saivas, that the temple was a Siva temple. The 
local ruler finding it difficult to decide, on his 
own responsibility, thought it much the best 
way to give the very best chance of a final 
settlement, to invite Ramanuja as the best 
exponent of Vaishnavism to prove the case of 
the Vaishnavas if they had a case. It would 
have been nothing more than a disputation, as 
in a number of other instances on record, and 
have 110 relation to the importance of the issue 
but for the eminent character of one individual 
involved. It is given therefore a very exaggerated 
importance in the Vaishnava accounts of the 
locality, and even a miraculoiis intervention of 
God himself has been invoked. It will be clear 
to those who have read the previous pages of 
this work that the character of the image and 
some of the features of worship lend themselves 
to an interpretation different from that actually 
given, and on the side of the Saivas therefore 
there was a plausible case. Ramanuja found no 
difficulty in proving it to the satisfaction of the 
impartial assembly which the Yadavaraya's 
court provided, and convincing the Yadavaraya 
himself and the assembly that the shrine was 
Vaishnava in character. It would be well to 
remember in this connection that, in those days, 
Vaishnava and Smartha or even Saiva did apt 



stand so much apart from each other in social 
life as now, and hence it would be nothing 
strange that this matter should have arisen, and 
in the form in which it actually did. Having 
given the award in favour of the Vaishnavas, it 
would in the ordinary course be only in the fitness 
of things that Ramanuja should be asked to pay 
some little attention and put matters on a proper 
footing in respect of the Tirupati temple. 
Ramanuja did indeed stay in Tirupati, and made 
the organisation for worship in very many 
particulars as it is now. That organisation falls 
naturally in two clear parts, the first one a mere 
revival of the ritualistic practices of the worship, 
etc., as they obtained till then ; and the second 
the institution of a number of new services which 
had not been in- existence before. For the 
former part of it Ramanuja found authority 
quite easily in the Pur anas, the Prabandha 
works, and other material to which he has had 
access, such as some of the Agamas which may 
not exist now. The new arrangements took on 
the character of putting the secular management 
of the temple on a proper footing, and putting 
Tirumalai Nambi while he was alive, and 
Anandalvar after him, as guardian advisers in 
regard to the temple, making proper provision 
for the temple service by the creation of a certain 
number of gardens, providing a certain number 



of additions to the shrine and installing even 
some other Vishnu images in the temple. Further 
the temple management was put on a footing 
of permanent disinterestedness by the creation 
of a couple of ^Mafias with Sanyasins, or 
bachelors at their head, and giving them the 
management. Those interested in the matter 
will find the details given in the Sri Venkatachala 
Itih&amala, which, though compiled later, 
seems more or less to reflect the actual existing 
institutions in the temple since then. That 
Ramanuja was there as well as Anandalvar, and 
that the principal flower gardens made by 
Anandalvar was given the name Ramanuja, 
appear in evidence in inscriptions jiist a few gene- 
rations, two or three, after Ramanuja in inscrip- 
tional records. Full provision was made for the 
recitation of the Prabandhas, and the celebration 
even of an Adhyayana Utsava as in Srirangam. 
Some of the details of it such as the Tiruppavai 
Utsava on the hill shrine, and the shine to Groda 
in the Govindaraja shrine appear in inscriptional 
records of the Yadavarayas and others. These 
would be enough to show that Ramanuja did 
play an active part in the organisation of 
worship in the temple, not exactly in the 
conversion or transformation of a oiva temple 
into a Vishnu temple. We have shown enough 
evidence of a continuous, and almost irrefutable, 



character to prove that the temple was intended 
to be a Vishnu temple, and had been so regarded 
throughout up to this particular period. Secular 
arguments could now be set up against this 
position, which, in a case like this, are quite out 
of place. An image of Vishnu, like the image 
of any other God, is set up to answer to a 
particular aspect of the deity as conceived by the 
individual worshipper or the worshipping commu- 
nity, and not on any absolute pattern for Vishnu, 
and after all in a matter of this character tradi- 
tional evidence is likely to be less at fault than the 
so-called evidence of reason. Once order had 
been introduced and an organisation for worship 
was acknowledged, things went on well with the 
temple, and we find, in the period immediately 
following that of Ramanuja, donations of various 
kinds were made and the arrangements regulating 
worship, etc., on the lines said to have been laid 
down by Ramanuja himself, continued in force. 


VAISHNAVA COMMUNITY: It would have been 
noticed from the summary of the inscriptions 
given that the management of the temple had 
been throughout in the hands of those who were 
devoted worshippers at the temple, and such 
arrangements as were made were made by those 
whose religious interests lay that way. Siich 
secular provisions as they did make for various 



service in the temple were placed under the pro- 
tection of the Vaishnava community residing in 
the locality, but were subject to the control of the 
popular assemblies which looked after the general 
administration and ultimately, in case of need, 
the rulers, kings or governors, according to the 
period of time to which we make reference. 
State intervention there was and always when 
actually needed, and the state did interfere to set 
matters right and went no further. The state 
authority withdrew to let the management go 
on as before, so that, at any rate so far as this 
temple is concerned it is in fact true of every 
other temple that exists the management was 
in the hands of the community interested, and 
the government interested itself in seeing to it 
that things went on peacefully and satisfactorily 
from the point of view of the temple management 
and did not otherwise interfere. For the period 
of almost a couple of centuries following the 
active period of Ramanuja's life, we have only 
inscriptional records, and the tale that they tell 
does not differ in the least from this position 
that we have depicted. That period of a couple 
of centuries was not uniformly peaceful. The 
authorities changed, and even the political 
possession of the locality changed. But the 
organisation for the management of the temple 
and the arrangements for the worship went 



on unaffected by any of these changes. Half a 
century of confusion consequent upon the incur- 
sions of the Muhammadans in A. D. 1310 did 
introduce a certain amount of confusion ; but 
then it did not reach through the society to affect 
this organisation in particular in spite of the fact 
that the temples particularly were exposed to 
the plundering raids of the invaders. On the 
whole the shrine at Tirupati, and the shrines 
dependent thereon, seem to have suffered little 
scathe, while the temples at Srirangam, Chidam- 
baram, Madura and Ramesvaram suffered vital 
injuries. This was due perhaps to the shrines 
round Tirupati being in a comparatively inacces- 
sible locality, and the invaders perhaps took roads 
which did not come too near these. When there- 
fore Vijayanagar gets established and the autho- 
rity of Vijayanagar begins to prevail over these 
parts, we find the Tirupati shrine well-organised 
and going on more or less on the set lines of 
worship and service. This closes the formative 
period, more or less, of the history of Tirupati 
from the point of view of the historian, and 
with the advent of Vijayanagar we are on 
what might almost be regarded as the modern 
period of the history of the hill-shrine. 



BALLALA in. Before proceeding to take up the 
history of the Tirupati temple, it would be useful 
to have an idea of the circumstances under 
which Vijayanagar came into existence, and the 
character of the change in administration that 
the advent of this new empire brought about. 
It would therefore be well to go back upon a 
slight retrospect, and gather together the details 
of information that we get regarding the changes 
that took place in the period ending with 
the formation of the empire of Vijayanagar. 
Among the inscriptions collected by the 
Devastanam authorities, the earliest are those 
connected with the name of Saluva Mangu and 
Kumara Kampana Udaiyar, the conqueror of 
Madura ; and the dates of the earliest records 
happen to be about the year A. D. 1359. There 
is possibly an earlier record in No. 178 of 
Volume I which just contains the name of 
Bukkaraya ; but such of the titles as precede it 
in this imperfect record make it doubtful whether 
it actually refers to Bukka I. It would, however, 



hardly matter, as the mention of Kumara 
Kampana and Saluva Mangu would be about as 
good as mentioning Bukka I himself, unless we 
could be certain of the date of this inscription 
being earlier than the date given above. In the 
record, as it is available, we have no means of 
ascertaining that. We may take it therefore 
that the first Vijayanagar records refer to a 
period some time about A. D. 1359. By this 
date we could regard the empire of Vijayanagar 
as almost well-established, the only enemy that 
they had to look forward to in the north being 
the newly established Bahmani kingdom under 
its second ruler Muhammad Shah, the imperial 
power at Delhi having almost definitely given up 
ideas of recovering the southern possessions of 
the Tughlak empire. We saw already that the 
last dated record previous to this among the 
inscriptions of Tirupati were those referring to a 
Singana Dandanayaka of date A. D. 1838. We 
have besides a number of records pertaining to 
this officer showing him more or less closely 
associated with the region round Tirupati, and 
being regarded by the local ruler as an officer 
deserving of the respect due to an official 
superior. We have also noticed that this 
Singana Nayaka was no other than an officer of 
the last Hoysala ruler, Vira Ballala III, under 
whom served not only Singana Nayaka but even 



his elder brother, his father and even grand- 
father. Singana Nayaka's position in Tirupati 
therefore gives the clearest indication that the 
region round Tirupati had passed under the 
authority of this last Hoysala, Vira Ballala III 
A. D. 1292 to A. D. 1342. It was in his reign 
that the first invasion of the Dakhan by the 
Muhammadans under Alau-d-din took place, and 
the gradual Muhammadan expansion subse- 
quently. The extension of the authority of Vira 
Ballala into the region of Tirupati is directly 
connected with these Muhammadan invasions, 
and t goes back perhaps a couple of generations 
earlier when the Hoysalas were drawn towards 
the South in support of the last rulers of the 
Chola dynasty in their struggle to maintain 
their position. We shall have to make a short 
review of this period. 


already stated that the first Hoysala intervention 
was called for in the reign of Rajaraja III, pretty 
early in his reign, and that Hoysala Narasimha II 
advanced towards the south to assist him, on the 
one side against the aggressions of the Pandyas, 
and on the other the rebellions of powerful chief- 
tains like governors in Tondamandalam, and even 
Kopperunjinga in South Arcot. The declining 
Chola power under their ruler Rajaraja III, 
A. D. 1316 to A. D. 135253, was harassed 



within the empire by the rebellions of the Pallava 
chieftain Kopperunjinga and possibly others in 
the neighbourhood on the one side, and the 
rising power of the Pandyas in the south whose 
aggressions were stimulated by a desire for 
vengeance for all that they had suffered from 
the Cholas, particularly their last great ruler 
Kulottunga III. Caught between these two great 
fires of rebellion in the northern part of the 
empire, and of the Pandya aggressions from the 
south, the Chola power could have sustained 
itself if it had had at the head of it a powerful 
and competent monarch who could hold his own 
against these enemies as several of the great 
Cholas have had to do before Rajaraja III. But 
Rajaraja III seems to have been a particularly 
feeble man for the critical position. He seems 
also to have been troubled by a rival claimant to 
the throne even at the outset of his reign. In 
these circumstances, the Chola power could be 
kept up only if there was a powerful ruler from 
outside who was interested enough to maintain 
the integrity of the Chola empire, or even the 
prestige of the Choja empire for the time being. 
Family relationship and political consideration 
alike perhaps prompted the Hoysala rulers across 
the hills to come to the assistance of Rajaraja at 
a time when he was hard pressed by his rebellious 
feudatory Kopperunjinga. In the actual condition 



of the Chola empire, it was not likely that one 
intervention, and the setting up of the Chola in 
power, would put matters on anything like a 
footing of peace. It was therefore a question 
whether something more than this occasional 
interference was not called for. Events showed 
that more was required to keep the Cholas in 
position. Narasimha II and his son Somesvara 
who were both of them intimately related with 
the Cholas and the Pandyas, found it necessary 
to establish themselves in an alternative capital 
in the south with a view to being ready at hand 
for the assistance of the Cholas. It was there- 
fore that the Hoysala Somesvara fortified the 
village Kannanur, four miles away from the 
north bank of the Coleroon opposite Srirangam, 
and installed himself there in the newly fortified 
Vikramapura as his capital, which probably 
proved of some assistance to the Chola, perhaps 
so far as his feudatories were concerned ; but it 
only aggravated the hatred of the Pandyas and 
made them the more implacable as enemies. 
Somesvara had to exert himself strenuously to 
keep the Pandyas from out of the Choja territory, 
and, in this effort, he strengthened the Hoysala 
position and extended his influence so much 
that some of the records of Narasimha 111 claim 
his having set up a pillar of victory in 
Bamesvaram and making an encircling movement 



against the Pandyan territory through the 
Pudukkottai State. When the great Jatavarman 
Sundara Pandya ascended the Paij^ya throne, he 
carried on a great and successful campaign north- 
wards beating the enemies in the Chola country, 
among whom the name of Somesvara himself 
figures prominently as well as that of Kopperun- 
jinga and others. He anointed himself as a 
victorious conqueror in Kanchi, and even Nellore 
farther north, before he celebrated his achieve- 
ment in crowning himself with the greatest glory 
both in Srirangam and in Chidambaram. This 
certainly was a crushing blow to the Hoysala posi- 
tion in South India ; but it also gave some little 
relief to the Chola by the success that he achieved 
against the rebellious Chola feudatories further 
north. But all the same, it did not avail the Cholas 
to regain their lost prestige, much less their 
territory* We see, however, although it is not 
clearly stated anywhere in any of the Chola or 
Pandya records, that the invasion of Sundara 
Pai]4ya I had the effect of putting an end to the 
Chola empire, as his Pandya successors are 
found ruling in the Chola country soon after 
him. So far as the Hoysalas were concerned, 
they had suffered early from Sundara Pandya 
and, for the time being, had perhaps been 
temporarily dispossessed of their territory in the 
Tatiail country. But they were able soon to 


regain a part of it, as we find two sons of 
Somesvara succeeding him simultaneously, one, 
Narasimha III the elder of the sons ruling his 
ancestral dominions from Halabid and Belfir. 
We find another Hoysala ruler simultaneously, 
styled Vira Ramanatha in his inscriptions, ruling 
over the Tamil territories of the Hoysalas 
claiming still Vikramapura as his capital and 
having another Kundani, in the Baramahal parts 
of the Salem District. Ramanatha's rule seems 
to have lasted about a quarter of a century, 
and when he died, a son of his, succeeded to 
his territory, and, after two or three years of 
rule, passed out of view. In consequence the 
empire of the Hoysalas was again united under 
Narasimha III. 


Narasimha's reign was perhaps more occupied 
with keeping his northern frontier from 
encroachment by the Yadavas of Devagiri and 
in bringing as much as possible of the southern 
part of the empire into his dominions. His 
period of rule, however, corresponded to that of 
the great Pandya Maravarman Kulasekhara, 
the last great Pandya of Madura before the 
Muhammadan invasions, and the two powers 
seem to have been more or less well matched 
to indulge too readily in the game of war. 



Maravarman Kulasekhara's activities find echo 
in the Tanjore District, and the fact that this 
great Pandya made Jayankondachojapuram and 
Gangaikondacholapuram his capitals would 
indicate that he had to be active on the northern 
frontier as against aggressions by the Hoysala, 
who must have regained his footing in 
Vikramapura. This interpolation by the Hoysala 
between the southern and northern parts of the 
Chola empire seems really to have been res- 
ponsible for the falling away of the northern 
part of the Chola empire from its allegiance, 
and becoming more or less independent of the 
empire of the Cholas and their successors. If, 
in the course of these years, this part fell away 
from the Chola empire, the maintenance of its 
independence woud have been perhaps rather 
precarious unless it be under the wings of a 
greater power than themselves. During a con- 
siderable part of this period we find the 
Yadavarayas comporting themselves more or less 
independently after the break up of the Chola 
empire, but not perhaps without being exposed 
to the incursions and the influence of a new 
power ; and that power, in the circumstances, 
must have been that of the Hoysalas. We have 
already noticed, in our account of the recorded 
inscriptions in Tirupati and its vicinity, that two 
Hoysala generals figure rather prominently with 



dates well on in the reign of the Hoysala 
Vfra Ballala HI, the son and successor of 
Narasimha HI. It fell to this Vira Baljala to 
regain the southern part of the empire for the 
Hoysalas largely. He had therefore to be very 
active in this region warring pretty often against 
the Pandyas under Maravarman Kulasekhara. 
It is nothing strange therefore that we find his 
authority in a way acknowledged by the later 
Yadavarayas in the region of Tirupati. This 
becomes the more clear when the family of these 
officers for three generations held the chief 
authority under the Hoysalas as their principal 
officers, exercising authority 110 doubt over the 
whole of the empire, but even holding jftgklrs of 
territory in the southern part of Mysore, which 
ultimately became an independent division of 
territory when the Hoysala power in its turn 
declined. Perumala Dandanayaka was the prime 
minister of Narasimha III in the later years of his 
reign, and he continued in that great office under 
his son and successor at the outset of his reign. 
He was succeeded in that great office by his son 
Madhava Dandanayaka, and in his turn he 
was succeeded by two of his sons, Ketayya 
Dandanayaka and Singana Dandanayaka, the 
names of both of whom and the father occur 
in the records at Tirupati. It is Madhava 
that organised his jftghlr on 



the southern frontier of Mysore, and made 
Terekanambi his headquarters to develop further 
and become the chieftaincy of Danijayakankottai 
later. That this was an important frontier and 
required careful watching is in evidence as the 
whole of the Kongu frontier was a frontier 
of contention between the Hoysalas and the 
Pandyas. According to Amir Khusru, the 
historian of the Muhammadan invasions of South 
India, on the first occasion of the Muhammadan 
inroad into the Hoysala territory, the Hoysala 
armies were actually on the southern frontier of 
Kongu operating against Vira Pandya, the son 
of Maravarman Kulasekhara, who had a govern- 
ment of his own, a-nd had for his sphere of 
activity this frontier. That no doubt is one part 
of the Hoysala territory open to attack ; but for 
any purpose of effective holding of this frontier 
as against the enemy, the frontier line must 
have taken the part of Tondamandalam rotind 
the region of Tirupati, and so we find it. 


But before proceeding any further, we must 
consider the Muhammadan irruption into this 
region with a view to appraising its influence in 
regard to this frontier in particular. After 
bringing into well-recognised subordination to 
the empire of Delhi both the Hindu states of the 
Dakhan, the Yadava state with its capital at 



Devagiri and the state of Warangal with its 
capital much farther east in the Nizam's 
Dominions first at Hanurnakonda and then 
Warangal, the Muhammadan general Malik 
Kafur, the special favourite of Alau-d-din, 
obtained his master's permission to carry his 
invasions farther south with a view to acquiring 
the riches of the temples in South India and 
gaining possession of a number of the powerful 
elephants of the south, as they constituted 
the most efficient arm of the armies of those 
days. Malik Kafur had really no difficulty in 
obtaining permission on these terms, and arrange- 
ments were made for the march of the army 
through the friendly and subordinate territory 
of the Rajas of Devagiri. As soon as the army 
emerged out of the Vindyan Passes of the 
Narmadaand Satpura mountains into the Dakhan, 
the Devagiri government and its army received 
the invading army, and took them over to 
Devagiri. When after rest and reorganisation, 
the invasion was ready to start again, the 
commander-in-chief, whom the Muhammadan 
historians call Paras De\o Dalvi (the correspond- 
ing Hindu name would be Parasuram Dev, the 
Dalavoy or general of the Yadavas) escorted the 
army to the southern limits of the Yadava 
territory down to his own jaghlr of Sholapflr. 
There the army encamped to reorganise itself 



for entry into the hostile territory of the south. 
During the period of the halt, what might be 
regarded as a cavalry raid was undertaken from 
Sholapur into the territory of the Hoysalas, and 
that was the first invasion of the Hoysala 
territory in A. D. 130910. The main part of the 
Hoysala army was away, but the Hoysala did 
make an effort to stand a siege, in the course of 
which his capital suffered considerable damage. 
The invaders were able to carry their raid further 
westwards to the coast of the Arabian Sea and 
return with a large quantity of plunder. When, 
however, the Hoysala submitted after the first 
show of resistance, the Muhammadan general 
received his overtures kindly, and sent a 
recommendation to imperial headquarters for the 
gracious treatment of the Raja. The mission 
went under the Hoysala prince, was kindly 
received, and returned with a gracious message 
from Alau-d-din that the Hoysala territory 
would be respected as under the rule of a sub- 
ordinate ally. That done Malik Kafur proceeded 
southwards on his invasion, feeling safe on the 
side of Hoysala in his march to the distant south. 
The question now arises as to what road this 
invasion took, and this is of considerable import- 
ance to the history of Tirupati especially. If the 
invasion took the eastern road, it would bring 
them very close to Tirupati, and Tirupati itself 



must have figured in the history of this invasion;, 
But it does not, and Timpati does not appear 
to have suffered either in this invasion, or even 
in some of the subsequent ones. We have good 
reason for believing that the invasion actually 
proceeded by way of Bangalore into the Salem 
District, and thence on in the direction of 
Trichinopoly proceeding therefrom to Madura 
and Ramesvaram. The choice of this road for 
the march of the army of invasion left the region 
of Tirupati aside, and saved it from the attacks 
of this army of invasion. The story of this 
invasion does not concern us directly. We might 
note briefly therefore that the army marched 
south, meeting with comparatively little opposi- 
tion except for a battle or two when they had to 
fight against Vira Pandya, the more active among 
the sons of Maravarman Kulasekhara, and then 
marched on plundering Srlrangam and Chidam- 
baram on the way towards Madura. Having 
destroyed the capital of Madura, and carrying a 
further raid forward as far as Ramesvaram, the 
invasion returned to Delhi the following year 
with something like 350 elephant loads of 
treasure and much else of warlike material likely 
to be of value to the emperor. Malik Kafur's 
return to Delhi was followed by trouble and 
disturbances at court ending ultimately in the 
death of Alau-d-din Khilji, and after one or two 



palace revolutions, Mubarak, one of the sons of 
Alau-d-din ultimately succeeded to the throne. 
This new succession was the occasion for the 
subordinate territories, particularly the new 
ones. Devagiri now under Harpaldev, a son-in- 
law of Ramdev who had submitted to Alau-d-din, 
showed an inclination to rebel. Mubarak came 
down upon him, punished Harpaldev severely, 
and made the territory of Devagiri the 
first subordinate kingdom in the Dakhan. With 
a view to riveting his hold on this territory, 
he sent out a number of Amirs at the head of 
their troops to occupy salient places in the 
kingdom with their troops. This made the 
Hoysala realise the danger of his position and 
prepare himself against eventualities. After 
Mubarak returned to headquarters, he sent out 
an invasion to the south under his favourite 
slave Khusru, a Grnjarati-Hindu convert to 
Islam, who went on this southern invasion and 
showed an inclination to tarry long in South 
India. But a palace revolution called for his 
presence in Delhi, and he went away post haste 
leaving South India to itself. It was not till the 
Khiljis were overthrown and the Tughlaks 
established themselves that they thought of 
South India again, and an invasion came 
under Muhammad-bin-Tughlak as a prince in 
A. D. 1323. It came some way towards the 



south, and had to turn back from the frontiers 
of South India owing to an outbreak of cholera 
in the camp. But Muhammad Tughlak was not 
the man to forget. After he had placed himself 
upon the throne securely, he sent out an 
expedition definitely with a view to the conquest 
of the south. Naturally the invasion took the 
course of its predecessors generally, and had to 
make sure of communications, and the loyalty of 
those whom they left in possession of power on 
the route of march. Naturally therefore an 
invasion had to be sent against the Hoysalas. 
Their capital Halabid suffered rather more 
severely this time than before. Having assured 
themselves of the Hoysala remaining loyal by 
this demonstration of power, the army marched 
south, and was so far successful in this invasion 
that Muhammad found it possible to establish a 
government in distant Madura, the capital of the 
Pandyas, under his loyal and doughty general, 
Jalalu-d-din JLsan Shah, thus laying the foun- 
dations of a Muhammadan state ruling in 
Madura, though only for a comparatively short 
period of fifty years. Muhammad Tughlak's 
invasions on this occasion probably came to the 
south not with the avowed object of con- 
quering the south, but because a rival claimant 
to the throne had set himself up in rebellion 
in the south Dakhan as against the claims 



of Muhammad .to the throne of his father. 
Bahau-d-diri Ghishtasp or Ghirshasp, as the 
Muhammadan historians name him, was a prince 
of the Tughlak family, a nephew of Ghiyasu-d- 
din Tughlak, the father of Muhammad, brought 
up in the royal family and perhaps with a 
view to succession as he claimed it. Since 
Muhammad was suspected of having brought 
about the death of the father with a view to 
securing the succession, it seems likely that the 
nephew put forward his claim and set up in 
rebellion from his headquarters at Sagar near 
Gulbarga in the Nizam's Dominions. The 
invasion came with a view to punish him But 
he found asylum first of all in the ruler of 
Kampli, who, loyal to his promise, would rather 
lay down his life than surrender a fugitive who 
sought asylum of him. The valiant Raja passed 
him on to the neighbouing Hoysala, as being 
more capable of giving him the asylum that he 
needed, fought and died, thus putting an end 
to the kingdom of Rampli. The invasion 
continued and marched on HalabnJ, and, after 
destroying the capital partially, it proceeded 
further south, as was stated already. Jalalu-d-din 
Asan Shah, the general ruled in the name of 
Muhammad-bin Tughlak from Madura, and 
declared himself independent in A. D. 1336, 
when Muhammad was engaged in putting down 



a rebellion of the distant ruler of Bengal, who 
had already set himself up under Muhammad's 
father. The opportunity, when yet Muhammad 
was engaged in his war against the Bengal 
Sultan, was too good to be lost, and the governor 
of Madura followed the example of Bengal and 
set up in rebellion. Madura was too far off 
for Muhammad's personal intervention, and as 
Muhammad had to attend to things nearer home, 
this distant southern rebel had to be neglected 
for the time. Muhammad's troubles grew so 
much in volume and variety, that he was not 
able at any time afterwards to pay his personal 
attention to this rebel at Madura, and his 
independence remained unchallenged. 


SULTANATE OF MADURA : The establishment of 
the Sultanate in Madura under Sultan Jalalu-d-din 
Asan Shah marked a stage in the expansion of 
the Muhammadan power in the South, and the 
establishment of something like a governorship 
in Madura which very soon developed into an 
independent state, was fraught with consequences 
which might have proved dangerous to Hindu 
India in the fields alike of current politics and cul- 
ture. It should have appeared in this character 
even to contemporaries, and specially to those 
among them who at all cherished any responsi- 
bility in respect of the country round them, 



particularly in regard to matters touching the 
religion and culture of the country. At the time 
to which we have now arrived, say A. D. 1835, the 
only Hindu power worth the name which could 
really feel concerned with matters like those was 
that of the Hoysala, the Pandya and the Chola 
empires having gone out of existence, and no 
other state having taken the place of either the 
one or the other or both. If it is a question of 
any Hindu state making an effort to set a term 
to the expansion of the Muhammadan power and 
keep it within limits, it could only be the 
Hoysala state which was at all in a position to 
do so with any chance of success. It became 
therefore the special responsibility of the Hoysala 
Vira Ballala III to exert himself in regard to 
this matter. But one could appreciate his 
position which was invidious in the extreme. 
He had acknowledged himself subordinate to the 
Muhammadan power at Delhi under the Khiljis. 
The Tughlak state could claim the same con- 
sideration as the political successor of the Khilji 
empire at Delhi. But the moment that a rebel 
set himself up against the legitimate authority of 
Muhammad Tughlak, this consideration would 
immediately cease to have any value as against 
this new state. He wa not bound by any ties 
of loyalty to the newly established Sultanate of 
Madura for one thing. But he saw also clearly 



that Muhammad took no action against the rebel 
and showed no inclination to do so in the 
immediate future. Things across his northern 
border in the Dakhan were moving faftt. 
Rebellion succeeded rebellion, and a new Mussal- 
man state was in course of formation. While 
this was not exactly clear in A. D. 1336, indi- 
cations certainly were not wanting to show that 
very soon Dakhan would follow in the footsteps 
of the other Muhainmadan states, such ae 
Gujarat and Malva. So between the nether 
millstone and the other of a rising Muhammadan 
state in the Dakhaii, if they should ultimately 
succeed against Muhammd Tughlak and set up 
in independence, and a Muhammadan kingdom, 
small though it be to begin with, well established 
in Madura under a capable governor, the 
Hoysala's position would become precarious in the 
extreme even though it did not seem likely that 
the Tughlak sovereign would actively exercise 
his authority and demand the Hoysala's loyalty 
at the time. If the very Mussalman governorships 
were in rebellion, Hindu states perhaps might 
easily follow their example. At any rate, when 
the empire of Muhammad ceased to exist, such 
Hindu states as existed need not follow in the 
trail of any succeeding state in Delhi. What 
indeed was the course of action that the Hoysala 
was going to adopt was matter which would, to 


* very great extent, depend upon his own 
interpretation of the situation, and the courage 
and capacity with which he could carry out 
his policy. Notwithstanding the submission that 
he made to Alau-d-din and the favourable terms 
that he obtained from him, he suffered badly in 
the invasion sent out by Muhamrnad-bin-Tughlak 
in A. D. 1327, which was so far successful as to 
partially destroy his capital and otherwise do 
him considerable damage. Perhaps Muhammad 
made no secret of his ultimate intention to 
conquer and annex South India to his own 
territory in direct contradiction to the policy of 
Alau-d-din, who made it clear, to his generals at 
any rate, that he was not anxious to extend his 
empire to great distances from Delhi, and across 
the Vindhya frontier particularly. The invasion 
of A. D. 1327 should have shown clearly to 
Vira Ballala that he could not regard his position 
safe even in his own territory. He must have 
been driven to take his measures accordingly. 
From A. D. 1328 he made Tiruvannainalai his 
headquarters, not because his capital of Halabi<J 
or Belfir had really become untenable, but 
perhaps as providing an important strategic 
centre from which he could operate advantage- 
ously and carry out his policy according to the 
exigencies of the moment. The advantage of 
the position in Tiruvannamalai would be that it 



was more or less on the high road to the South 
by the eastern way, from which he could watch 
the movements of the Muhammadans even if 
they should take the fiirther interior central 
route towards the South. The territory behind 
Tiruvannamalai, and to the north of it was more 
or less under his authority, and the assistance 
of its governors and the whole of its resources 
would be available to him in his operations 
against the Muhammadans, who had now perhaps 
fortified themselves in Kannanur as an outpost 
of Madura, and as safeguarding communication 
with the north for the Muhammadans by the 
central route. What had been done under 
Singana Nayaka, and the strengthening of the 
Southern frontier under his father Madhava 
Dandanayaka alike woiild indicate clearly that 
it was provision made for guarding the Southern 
frontier from which a Muhammadan attack from 
the South would be possible now, with a 
Sultanate established in Madura. That seems to 
have been the moving consideration with Vira 
Ballala in moving out towards Tiruvannamalai, 
and making it more his capital than Halabid or 
Belur. The block of territory extending along 
the foothills of the Eastern Grhats from the 
southern frontier of Mysore eastwards to the sea, 
was a very important salient both for offence 
and defence against the Muhammadans, and 



seems to have proved a safe belt of country, if 
for nothing else, at least for communications 
from one part of the country to the other. 
During the seven years following when Madura 
was only a governorship under the authority of 
Muhammad Tughlak, he had to be very cautious, 
and lay his plans secretly and work without 
causing inconvenient suspicions ; but when once 
the governor of Madura declared himself inde- 
pendent, and Muhammad showed no inclination 
to march down with his accustomed speed to 
bring the rebel to reason, the Hoysala could 
adopt a bolder line of action, and take steps to 
carry out actively a policy to shut in the Sultan 
of Madura within narrow limits and bring about 
the extinction of the Sultanate if possible ; if 
that were not possible, at least to confine it 
within the narrowest possible limits. He therefore 
gradually exerted himself to extend his authority 
over what was the Chola empire, and, through 
the Pudukkottai state and through the Ramnad 
district, so as to limit the activities of the 
Muhammadan Sultan to the Madura-Trichino- 
poly route at the very most, and a comparatively 
small distance to the north of the Coleroon. 
When the Ballala carried out these strategic 
movements of his to a considerable degree of 
success, it was clear even to the Muhammadan 
in Madura that he meant nothing less than the 



extinction of the Muhammadan Sultanate which 
seemed then possible, as Muhammad's activities 
were not likely to be of any avail in the distant 
south, and the state of the Dakhan gave the 
best guarantee that assistance from the north 
was altogether impossible. The Muhammadan 
historians consequently complain that the 
Hoysala was developing a movement to surround 
and confine the Sultanate of Madura to Madura 
itself and no more. We find him ultimately 
carrying out this policy almost to a successful 
conclusion after seven years of strenuous 
activity, when, at the head of an army of 1,25,000 
troops he placed himself in Trichinopoly, and 
thus separating the garrison of the Muhammadan 
cantonment at Kannanur from Madura, the 
headquarters of the Sultan, made an effort to 
defeat the two parts of the Muhammadan 
armies in detail and ultimately put an end to 
Muhammadan power in the south. But unfortu- 
nately for the Hindu movement in the south, he 
fell into the hands of his enemies at the moment 
of victory, when he had successfully beaten 
back a desperate attack from the Muhammadans 
in Madura. He fell into the hands of a raiding 
party and was put to death, an old man of 80 
that he was as stated by the Muhammadan 
historians. This outspread of the Hoysala 
power is what is indicated in the two or three 



inscriptions in Tirupati which refer to the 
Hoysala officers Ketayya Dandanayaka and 
Singana Dandanayaka, the brothers, who became 
afterwards the founders of the family that ruled 
at Dannayakankottai in the Salem District as 
their headquarters. The unfortunate result of 
the battle of Trichinopoly should ordinarily 
have put an end to this Hindu movement once 
and for all, but for the confused condition of the 
Tughlak empire, and the almost impossible 
struggle that Muhammad Tughlak had to main- 
tain for the next ten years against his rebel 
governors, culminating in his death without 
achieving the success that he should have under 
more favourable cinwmstances. South India 
was left to itself during all this period, as the 
Dakhan Sultans, even when they had established 
themselves into a well-formed kingdom in 
A. D. 1346, had to be watchful of the activities 
of Muhammad Tughlak, and could not move 
freely and actively southwards. That was the 
saving feature of the situation, and what followed 
seems to be a concerted action on the part of 
these officers and governors of the Hoysala, 
continuing and carrying out the policy of Vira 
Ballala to success so as to lead ultimately to the 
establishment of a united Hindu state of the 
South, which became later the empire of 




The course of events which culminated in the 
establishment of Vijayanagar gives indication of 
a gradual revival and expansion of the Hoysala 
power after the Muhammadan invasions, parti- 
cularly after the invasion of Muhammad Tughlak 
in the year A. D. 1327. It is likely that, even 
this invasion went down upon Trichinopoly and 
Srlrangam, as its main objective, particularly the 
latter, and as such must have avoided the road to 
the east leaving the region round Tirupati quite 
clear as it were. This is made very likely by 
what is stated of the happenings in the south 
resulting from this invasion. The Kovil Oluhuj 
an account of the history of the temple at 
Sriraiigam, which records most of the principal 
events relating to the history of the temple at 
Srlrangam, gives a description of what actually 
took place on this occasion. The inhabitants of 
Srlrangam were celebrating one of their famous 
anmial festivals, in which the image of the God 
is carried to the river Coleroon and set down in 
the middle of the river bed for getting through a 
number of items of various acts of worship, till, 
late in the evening, the God is taken back to the 
temple in a huge procession. It was in the course 
of this festivity all unexpectedly that the invading 
cavalry of Muhammad Tughlak clattered down 



to the banks of the Coleroon along the road 
from Kannanur. Before the invading forces 
could come into touch, people immediately in 
attendance upon the image quickly came to a 
resolution to save the image of the God, the 
festival image which was meant for being 
carried about, and Lokacharya, a sturdy man of 
middle age, carried the image in a palanquin 
and walked away through unfrequented ways, 
and escaped through Pudukkottai avoiding public 
roads. Taking Tirukkottiyur, Tirurnaliruihsolai, 
where he made halts, he moved out whenever he 
heard of the cavalry behind him, to carry the 
image in safety across into the Travancore 
country, moving from place to place as each one 
became untenable. The image was at last taken 
to safety in Calicut, where it remained for some 
time. As soon as the imminent danger from 
these divisions of the invading army was over, 
they thought it best to bring the image to a 
place of safety, where it might remain unmolested 
till the time should come for its being reinstalled 
in the holy place of iSrirangam. They thought 
the best place to go to would be Tirupati, and 
moved out from Calicut carrying the image with 
them, reached the place Terukanambi in Mysore, 
where they stayed rather comfortably for a 
while, and proceeded further on their journey 
till they reached Punganur in the Chittoor 



District on the high way leading from the 
Mysore plateau into the Madras Presidency. 
On reaching the place, they discovered detach- 
ments of the Muhammadan forces were hovering 
about, and therefore they resolved to retrace 
their steps, not being able to reach their 
destination of Tirupati. As the next best safe 
place they took the image over to the temple at 
Melkota, where it was kept in hiding for some 
time, and then, when the roadways were safe, 
they carried the image over secretly to Tirupati 
where it was kept in safety in the charge of a 
worshipping priest, his brother-in-law, perhaps 
a somewhat younger man, and a young boy of a 
son. Hearing of the threat of an attack by 
Muhammadan forces, the priest tied himself and 
the image to a rope, and asked the brother-^n-law 
to let him slowly down a scarp on the hill, on the 
western side into a deep glade unfrequented by 
man generally. There the image is said to have 
lain under the care of these three till the priest 
died, followed some time after by the brother-in- 
law, and the young boy had grown up to be a 
man of age. When, on an occasional discovery 
by a forester, the information was carried to 
Narayanavaram, the governors of 
who played a prominent part in 
of the Muhammadan garrisons 
and in the establishment of 



empire in the army of Kumara Kampana of 
Vijayanagar, found occasion, chiefly through the 
influence of the minister Gopanarya, as he is 
called, to take over the image and instal it in the 
temple at Srirangam back again. This story 
throws light upon the general position of the 
region round about Tirupati and the condition 
in which that region happened to be at the 
time. The fact that, owing to the turmoil, they 
thought Tirupati was about the safest place 
available and that they could move along 
unmolested by way of Terukanambi across 
Mysore to Tirupati gives indication that the 
territory concerned was under a state which 
remained, more or less unmolested, in spite of 
the Muhammadan invasions, although the road- 
ways were far from being absolutely safe. This 
must have taken place some years after the 
invasion of A. D. 1328, which indeed was what 
set the image of Ranganatha on the move. 
Perhaps it actually refers to a period when the 
authority of Singana Nayaka, or it may be his 
successors still prevailed over this region, the 
region round Tirupati extending westwards to 
as far as Terukanambi and perhaps beyond, 
wkidu seems more or less the condition inferable 
lrv t^ Account of Ibn Batuta as well. So 
xfttring the period of turmoil of the Muhammadan 
invasions and the years following, Tirupati 



remained a comparatively safe place to offer 
protection even to the image of Ranganatha 
from orlrangarn. It is perhaps the possession of 
this region in comparative security and its 
providing a good place of retreat in times of 
need, that induced Vira Ballala to establish 
himself in Tiruvannamalai by preference, a 
fortified place on the high road leading from the 
north to the south along one of the well-known 
highways of the south. Not only did that 
provide a place of safety with a safe retreat 
behind for emergencies, but it also proved a 
convenient centre from which to develop his 
further movements against the Sultans of 
Madura as circumstances proved favourable. The 
establishment of the Vijayanagar empire may 
be regarded as a fact soon after A. D. 1358 
when the coinage of the Sultan of Madura 
ceases ; it would mark one further stage in the 
growth perhaps in A. D. 1369-70 when the image 
of Ranganatha was, according to a record in the 
temple, reinstalled in Srlrangam. This latter 
date may be the better date for the establish- 
ment of the empire, apart from the date of the 
foundation of the city. The conclusion of the 
successful campaign of Kumara Karnpana signa- 
lised by the restoration of the destroyed temple at 
Madura, and the revival of the great temple at 
Srlrangam would certainly mark the date of the 



successful accomplishment of the mission which 
ended in the establishment of the empire of 
Vijayanagar. The inscriptional records that we 
find in Tirupati take us to about this date, 
and the earliest names of Vijayanagar nilers 
and officers who find mention happen to be 
Bukkaraya, posssibly the first of the name, 
Kumara Kampana, his son, the princely viceroy 
of the Mulbagal Maharajya and Saluva Mangu, 
the first great name in the dynasty of the 
Saluvas of Narayanavaram. Bukkaraya must 
have been the ruler. Kumara Kampana wavS 
responsible for leading the invasion which 
brought into the empire the rebel Sambuvarayas 
of the Palar basin, and ultimately defeated the 
Sultan of Madura himself, Sa]uva Mangu playing 
the leading part in this South Indian campaign. 
We shall now take up the tale of the inscriptions 
at Tirupati during the first century of the 
existence of Vijayanagar. 


taking up the actual subject-matter of the ins- 
criptions of Vijayanagar, some of the features 
in which these differ from the inscriptions of 
the Chola and other dynasties must be noted 
carefully. The first important point is that the 
dates are marked not in the regnal years of 
the ruling sovereign as in the case of the earlier 



inscriptions. They are generally given in the 
iSaka year with of course details of the date. 
This, while it makes the dating precise and 
undoubted, is therefore very convenient ; 
but these inscriptions fall short in historical 
value as they do not give the historical informa- 
tion supplied in the form of Prasasti or Meykklrti. 
The second point in regard to this is that the date 
being thus given, the ruler's name generally 
need not be mentioned unless he has something 
directly to do with the subject-matter of the 
inscription. The records therefore would be 
more or less of a private character except in a 
certain number of cases where royal personages, 
or members of the royal family, make the 
donations. Bearing these limitations in mind, 
we find that there is a large number of inscrip- 
tions in the Tirupati temple itself relating to this 
period in the first century of the history of 
Vijayanagar. Actually they extend from No. 178 
to 236 of the first volume, and just a small 
number in the second volume. The first of these 
records, No. 178, has no date as it has come 
down to us, and just makes mention of a 
Bukkaraya, and makes provisions for a daily 
food-service at the temple on the hill. It 
probably refers to Bukka I. As we have stated 
already, the orthodox dating for the foundation 
of Vijayanagar is A. D. 1336, and that refers to 



the foundation of the city of Vijayanagar, in its 
original name Vidyanagara. It would be a date 
of the foundation of the empire in a sense. But 
the real foundations of the empire would be some- 
what later, and could be marked off in the first 
years of Harihara II just over fifty years after 
this date. The actual completion of the opera- 
tions and the establishment of an empire in the 
south perhaps may be dated more appropriately 
somewhere about the year A. D. 1371, when the 
image of God Ranganatha was reinstalled at 
Srirangam, giving thereby the clearest indication 
that the first rulers of Vijayanagar felt they had 
brought the country under their authority, and 
the establishment of Hindu South India, free of 
Muhammadan power, had become more or less a 
fact But even as early as A. D. 1346, we find 
inscriptions of the Vijayanagar brothers, Hari- 
hara I or Bukka I, extending eastwards as far as 
Udayagiri in the Nellore District which would 
mean that the territory with which we are 
particularly concerned was included in their 
empire already ; and, about this early period, 
we find their governments at Penukonda and 
farther east in the Anantapur District on the one 
side, and at Mulbagal and the roads leading from 
there into the Madras Presidency on the other, 
that is the high road leading into Chittoor. We 
may therefore take it that the territory round 









Tirupati passed under the authority of Vijaya- 
nagar almost directly from that of the Hoysala 


Inscriptions 179 and 180 refer to the same matter 
and recorded in two languages, the first in 
Telugu, and the next in Tamil. The Telugu part 
gives the date Saka 1281, corresponding to 6th 
July 1359 and refers to the performance of a 
service by the Mahamamlalesvara Mangideva 
Maharaja. This apparently refers to, from the 
partial title given, the Saluva ruler who played 
a prominent part in the southern invasions of 
Kumara Kampala, and distinguished himself in 
the campaigns which succeeded in bringing 
the whole of the southern territory under 
Vijayanagar, He belonged to the Saluva family, 
of which we shall hear more later, and was one 
of the earliest chieftains to distinguish himself. 
His benefaction to the temple consisted in his 
covering the roofing with gold and setting up 
a gold pinnacle. The former part of it, the 
covering with gold is mentioned distinctly in the 
Tamil record in the expression pon-menju. Of 
course, the Tamil expression would be jpon- 
veyndu, with also the variant meyndu, an 
expression which is used in respect of similar 
service rendered to the Srirangam temple by 



Jatavarman Sundara Pandya and in similar 
connections. Among the titles given to this 
ruler is a Kannada expression Mlsara Ganda. 
The full expression would be Medinl Mlsara 
Ganda, meaning the man among those in the 
world with moustaches which means, ' the man 
among men,' a title which became a peculiar 
Saluva title, although other chieftains and 
dynasties sometimes affected it also. No. 181 
connects itself with Sri Vlra Kumara Kampanija 
U^aiyar, with various titles generally associated 
with him. The subject-matter of the inscription 
is the grant of 28 cows and one breeding bull for 
lighting a perpetual lamp in the temple. This 
benefaction seems to have been made by an 
officer of Kampanna Udaiyar of the rank of 
pekkadai, as it is called in Tamil. This is the 
equivalent of the Kanarese Pergadai, a title of 
high rank analogous to the Tamil perum-taram. 
It is noteworthy that the titles given of this 
Kumara Kampana should be in Kanarese even 
in the region of Tirupati. These titles are 
Mahaman^alesvara, HarirSya (arirSyd) - vibftda, 
and there is a part of the word Ganda with a 
gap previous which may be filled up from his 
other inscriptions, Bhashege - Tappuva B&yara 
Gayda. Of course, the other possibility would 
be MVdinl Mlsara Ganda, which is not usually 
found applied to Kumara Kampala or other 



rulers of Vijayanagar. No. 182 seems to be a 
mere continuation, and contains but one remark. 
Since the name of the year is given, and we 
know the period of time, the year Kilaka would 
correspond to aka 1290, A. D. 1368. No. 183 
is interesting, but it is badly mutilated in the 
form in which it is available to us. It refers 
to a Sambukula Chakravarti Tiru-Mallinadan 
oambuvaraya Perumal, and makes some bene- 
faction in favour of the temple. The intrusion 
of this Sambuvaraya inscription into Tirupati is 
indeed interesting as the Sambuvarayans held 
rule in the Palar basin with their capitals at 
Tiruvallam, and ultimately Vrinchipuram near 
Vellore, where Kumara Kampana defeated them, 
and brought them under the authority of the 
Vijayanagar empire. But since in this case, we 
know no date, we could not say anything more 
about him, nor to what period the record actually 
belongs, although we are entitled to infer that 
in the best period of their authority the 
Sambuvarayan influence extended as far as 
Tirupati. No. 184 is of date & 1301 or A. D. 1380. 
This is a private document more or less, as it 
refers to a benefaction merely. It makes 
provision for food-service on the 2nd day of 
certain festivals in which the image of the God 
and His consorts are taken to a pavilion called 
Ajflhappiran. In the recorded provision is also 



included a separate provision for $ri Varaha- 
nayanar, that is, the boar form of Vishnu, whose 
shrine is on the west bank of the Svami Pushka- 
rini tank. The capital of 450 gold pieces was 
deposited by a Vaishnava Kalikanridasa, son of 
Alahappiranar. The expenses of the service 
were to be met from the interest on this capital de- 
posited, and was accepted by the Sri Vaishnavas. 
The document was committed to writing by the 
temple accountant, Tiruninravur Udaiyan, which 
would mean the lord of the village of Tiruninra- 
vur, now Tinnanur. In a number of documents 
following, this accountant's name occurs, and 
he is the responsible author of all the documents 
in the temple, and was under the supervision 
of the Vaishnavas of Tirupati. In regard to 
the donor, his name has one of the titles of 
Tirumangai Alvar, and he was one of the leaders 
among the Vaishnavas of Tirupati. 


next one No. 185, which is on the north wall 
of the Varadarajasvami shrine in the temple, is 
of great interest, and gives the name of the 
year. From this detail and further attendant 
circumstances, the date would work out to the 
18th of January 1388. It refers to the deposit of 
100 gold pieces into the treasury by Mullai 
Tiruvengada Jlyar in residence in his Math a in 
one of the flower-gardens apparently. From the 



income of this deposit, service had to be made 
on a particular festival day as is generally done 
on other festival days in the shape of food, etc., 
and this was made in the name of Harihararaya 
obviously Harihara II. The donor's name is, 
not actually mentioned ; but the donation is 
entrusted to the care of the particular Sanyasin, 
one among the managers of the temple. The 
same accountant, Tiruninravur Udaiyan, put the 
document in writing. No. 186 seems to be a 
continuation of this document. No. 187 refers to 
& 1312, and would correspond to A. D. 1390. It 
is an agreement between the stanattar (people of 
the locality) and Mullai Tiruvenga^a Jiyar, 
supervisor of the flower-garden Arisanalaiyam. 
This makes provision for a food-service during 
the Margali (December January) festival, when 
through the whole month the God and His 
consorts listen to the recital of the Tiruppavai 
from the Prabhanda works. This makes provision 
for distribution of food during the middle ten 
days, and on the concluding day, for the God at 
Tirupati, and similar provision is also included 
for Govindaraja Perumal in Lower Tirupati. 
The amount of deposit was 1,200 gold pieces 
from the interest of which the expenses of the 
provision have to be met. There are also details 
as to the distribution of the food, and there is 
the interesting remark at the end that, when 



Tiruvenga<Ja Jlyar should die, his successor in 
the office should hold himself responsible for 
seeing to the working out of this provision, and 
be entitled to the privileges that it carries along 
with it. It is noted that his successor should be 
an Ekangi (a single man) like himself. No. 188 
is an imperfect document, and contains only a 
detail in regard to the distribution of food. 
The inscriptions so far are all of them from 
the hill shrine. With 189 we come to the 
Govindaraja temple. It is on the south wall of 
the Partbasarathisvami shrine in the temple 
precincts, and is the same document as No. 187 
that we discussed before, where the provision 
made is a joint provision for the temple at 
Tirupati and the temple of Govindaraja. No. 190 
again is in the hill shrine and refers to S. 1314, 
corresponding to the 25th February 1393. It is 
again an agreement between the stanattdr and 
the Jlyar referred to above, and makes provision 
for certain services to the God on the day 
following the conclusion of the festivals through- 
out the year. For doing this, 600 gold pieces 
.were deposited in the treasury, and the service 
was to be conducted as described. The same 
accountant reduced the document to writing. 
No. 191 is outside the temple in a building on the 
road leading from the hill shrine to Chandragiri, 
It refers to the &aka date 1326 corresponding to 



18th December 1404. It refers to an agreement 
between the stftnattftr and one Giridevappa, who 
was a younger brother of Santappa Nagapan$a 
who was himself the son of Sayagna of the 
Atreyagotra. This Sayanna apparently was a 
member of the ruling dynasty from the gotra 
which is the gotra of the family. It makes 
provision for a service on the 7th day festival 
in a mayfapa constructed in the midst of a 
garden in a locality some little way from the 
temple, and from the locality it seems to refer to 
a place near Lower Tirupati. 

CHANTING IN TIRUPATI i No. 192 is an important 
document in the hill shrine. It refers to the 
year . 13B1 corresponding to 5th December 
1429. It is a benefaction by the great Vijaya- 
nagar emperor Devaraya, the second of the name. 
It seems to refer to the grant of land in certain 
villages to the temple, taking into it certain 
parts already given to the God. From the 
income out of the land, or villages belonging to 
the Chandragiri treasury thus given, provision 
had to be made, in the name of the king, for 
certain services of food, etc., on certain festivals. 
The document is broken up and the full meaning 
of it cannot be made out. A certain number of 
villages are mentioned paying revenue into the 
treasury at Chandragiri, and it is those that are 



made over to the temple from out of which the 
provision was to be made. The village Ila- 
mandaya figures in this group. No. 193 belongs 
tathe Saka year 1352, corresponding to 1st July 
1430. It is in the Tirupati temple, and is a 
Sanskrit verse and refers to the grant of a gold 
patta (a plate for wearing on the face) by prince 
Srigiri, the son of a Bissanna Devaraya. The 
next one 184 also comes from the hill temple 
and refers to S. 1330, with details of date 
corresponding to 13th March 1409, and is an 
agreement between the stanattar and a certain 
Mallanna, otherwise Madhavadasa, a disciple of 
Gopinathayya. This is provision for a food- 
service and the burning of a perpetual lamp. 
The really interesting part of the document 
consists in this, namely, that the donor repaired 
the irrigation channel from the river at his own 
expense, leading it into the tank near the village 
Avilali, and thereby bringing the lands below the 
tank into cultivation. Of this 5,000 kuli of 
hitherto uncultivated land was to be reclaimed 
and broiight into cultivation at his expense, and, 
from the income therefrom, the expenses of the 
food-service should be met. He made separate 
provision for the lamp by presenting 82 cows 
including calves. The repairing of the channel, 
the making of the tank serviceable for agricul- 
ture, the reclaiming of the lands hitherto 



uncultivable, were all made at the expenditure 
of the donor, and then made over for the temple 
service. No. 195 conveys the same information 
without any detail in a Sanskrit verse. There 
Mallanna is described as Amatyasekhara, the 
chief of the body of ministers. No. 196 is of 
date . 1339 corresponding to A. D. 25th August 
1417. The same Chandragiri Mallanna repaired 
from the base to the top a pavilion in the 
temple. No. 197 belongs to S. 1366 equivalent 
to 2nd October 1444, and is an agreement 
between the stanattar and a Mallandaiyar of 
Chandragiri son of Devarasa, and is a provision 
for a food-service like those mentioned in 
Nos. 194 and 195, and even the terms are similar, 
the construction of a canal, the bringing of 
land into cultivation etc. No. 198 refers to the 
repairs carried out to the Anandavimana, that is, 
the tower over the sanctum of the temple by 
Madhavadasa, a disciple of Gopinathayya. We 
cannot be positive, although it seems likely, 
whether this Gopinatha is not the same as 
Gopa^arya, who was responsible for the administ- 
ration of the territory under the rule of the 
Saluvas in the early years of the Vijayanagar 
empire. The next following group of documents, 
Nos. 199 to 202, are all from the hill shrine at 
Tirupati and relate to one particular subject, 
the institution of Veda-chanting in the temple. 



They are all of aka 1355, although the figure 
for fifty is damaged in the first record. There* 
fore the date corresponds regularly to 22rid 
November 1433. The interesting part of the 
document is that a Vtda-parayana (chanting of 
the Veda) by a number of Brahmans in the 
temple itself should be made at stated times, and 
along with the processions when the image of 
the deity is being carried round on festival 
occasions. The chanting of the Veda was 
instituted in this case in the name of the ruling 
sovereign Devaraya and came about as follows. 
The leading Sri Vaishnava Brahman Alahappira- 
nar, son of Tiru Kalikanridasa made a represen- 
tation to Devanna Udaiyar in the following 
terms. He pointed out that, for the God, 
Tiruvengadamudaiyan, there were already pro- 
vided all the features of greatness, and the one 
desideratum was Veda-par ay ana, and suggested 
it would be well if this could be instituted in the 
name of the ruling sovereign Devaraya Maharaja, 
who must be the great Devaraya II of the first 
dynasty of Vijayanagar. As the text words it, 
this leader of the Vaishnava community in 
Tirupati pointed out actually, to the local ruler 
apparently, that, for the God in the temple* 
everything that constituted features of greatness 
was provided for, and that this one only was not, 
and that it would be well if this defect also 



should be remedied, and in case the governor 
agreed to do it, that the institution may be 
introduced in the name of the reigning sovereign. 
These statements arise clearly from the language. 
The Devastanam translation leaves much to be 
desired. The part is translated that the chanting 
of the Veda 4 ceased to be conducted,' which 
would mean that the Veda-parayana was being 
conducted, but it was given up at some time or 
other, and what was done now is but a revival 
of the institution. The terms of the original 
records* give no authority for this statement. 
On the face of it, the language would simply 
mean the Veda-chanting was not there, and the 
request was that it might be provided for. The 
arrangement made was that the governor ordered 
one half of the revenue of a village called 
Sittakkuttai, which was being paid into the state 
treasury (RSja Bhandara), should be set apart 
for this service ; and the subsequent documents 
mention it that, as this provision was found 
inadequate, the other half of the revenue of the 
same village, which was paid into the temple 
treasury ($rl Bhandara) be also appropriated for 
this particular purpose ; the temple treasury 

DZvast&nam Ins. Vol. I, No. 199, 


being compensated by the other Devadanam 
villages round about, which are named, agreeing 
to pay quotas to make up the sum, into the temple 
treasury itself. The document as it has come 
down to us here is an agreement between the 
stBnatt&r of Tirupati, and the Mahajana of 
ormivasapuram, otherewise Sittakkuttai, which 
is said to be the aharam, the village in the 
enjoyment of Kalikanridasar, the first (Mudaliyar) 
among the iSrl Vaishnavas in Tirupati. This 
institution is a matter of considerable importance, 
and the question arises whether in Tirupati there 
was no Veda-parayanam at all down to the !aka 
year 1355, when it was actually instituted as 
stated in these records. On the authority of the 
record we have to take it that Veda-parayanam 
did not form a part of the institutions in the 
temple. We have so far not come upon any 
records that makes any mention of it, although 
we cannot very well point out specifically where 
exactly it might find mention. For one thing in 
all the arrangements that Ramanuja is said to 
have made in the Sri Venkatachala Itihasamala, 
this does not occur, as it might well have, had 
it existed. This does not mean that Veda- 
parayana was not usual in temple service, or 
even in Vaishnava temples. The way that this is 
mentioned on this particular occasion presumes 
that it was one of the usual adjuncts, and the 



absence of it in Tirupati was the really remark- 
able feature. The chanting of the Veda is well 
known in the Tamil country, as the Maduraikanji 
makes pointed reference to " the excellent Vedas 
being illuminatingly chanted." It is also under 
reference in a poem which glorifies the excellent 
chanting of the Rig* Veda as constituting one of 
the essential qualifications of a good Brahman. 
The poet and critic Rajasekhara, who lived at 
the commencement of the 10th century, states 
it in clear terms that, for excellent Veda-chanting, 
one ought to come all the way down to the 
Dravida country in the whole of India. The 
absence of a Veda-parayanam therefore must 
have been peculiar only to Tirupati, It is just 
possible that it was absent in Tirupati, because 
we have had occasion to notice that Tirupati 
proved a place which did not provide the con- 
veniences of life, and therefore there were 
comparatively few people that actually lived on 
the hill. The complaint had been that even such 
essentials as the supply of water and the supply 
of flower proved unsatisfactory from time to time 
and had to be arranged for specially, both in the 
days of Alavandar and subsequently in the days 
of Ramanuja. It may be therefore that in 
Tirupati, the chanting of the Veda was not usual, 
although it seems .very strange that Ramanuja 
should not have provided for it as he was so 



careful to provide for so many other things of 
even lesser importance in respect of the Tirupati 
shrine. Record No. 200 contains the latter half 
of this agreement. No. 201 begins with the same 
introduction referring to Bivaraya's reign, giving 
the &aka date 1355, and is an agreement by 
which the villages belonging to the temple both 
in Tirukkudavur-nadu and Vaikunthavala-nadu 
entered into an agreement with the stanattar 
that they would see to the incidence of revenue 
being paid to the 24 Brahmans, so that they 
may render the service of chanting the Veda 
without interruption for all time, and the 
signature of a number of leading villagers is 
given as authority for this document. This puts 
the institution of Veda-chanting on a footing of 
permanence. No. 202 continues the details of 
the agreement in this behalf, and fixes the 
amount payable by the various parties to the 
agreement. No. 203 similarly is an agreement 
signed on the other side for the same purpose. 


from Tirupati is one which seems to refer to 
Devaraya II also and bears date S. 1358. It is 
an agreement by Sadagopanambi Alahappiraiiar 
Grovinda selling a house to the temple treasury 
for 1,000 gold pieces. The name Devanna 
Udaiyar occurs in the middle, and refers to the 
property as acquired by this Govinda as the 



property of a lady who had no children, 
apparently some relation of his. Then follow the 
usual conditions in regard to sale of property. 
No. 205 seems to be a similar document, a 
similar deed of a house sold to the temple 
treasury from out of the money received from 
Devanna Udaiyar. The amount involved was 
4,200, the value of two and three fourths of a 
ground including the building, followed by 
signatures of this Govinda, the temple accountant 
and a number of icharya Purushas of the 
locality. No. 206 is a document belonging to 
Devaraya's reign. The date is gone, and even 
otherwise, the document is too far gone to be 
intelligible. No. 207 from Tirupati also is of 
date S. 1356, and does not make any reference 
to the ruler. It is an agreement between the 
stftnattar and the first among the Sri Vaishnavas 
of Tirupati, namely, Kalikanridasa Alahappira- 
nSr. The latter paid 4,000 gold pieces to the 
temple treasury for a festival to be celebrated at 
break of dawn during the six months of the 
Dakshipayana (October March). No. 208 is a 
document too far gone. No. 209 relates to 
S. 1368, and is a document in Kanarese. It 
refers to the gift in charity by Teppada 
Nagayya Nayaka, son of Muddayya Nayaka, 
of 3,000 gold pieces. The amount has been 
entrusted to the stanattar to arrange that this 


service was rendered regularly. No. 210 comes 
from the hill temple, and is of date . 1368. It 
is an agreement between the stanattar and 
Periyamalladeva, son of Errakkampayadeva 
Maharaja with the titles Medini-Mlsara-Ganda- 
Kattari-Saluva. It relates to the payment of 
1,000 gold pieces from the income of which a 
food-service was to be rendered to the God for 
all time. It was put on record by the temple 
accountant as usual. Record No. 211 refers to 
the . year 1364, and is an agreement between 
the stanattar and one Karunakaradasa a Sattada 
Sri Vaishnava of Tirupati for food-service to 
Govindarajapperumal in Lower Tirupati in the 
name of this Dasa. He paid 100 gold pieces 
from the income of which this was to be 
conducted. No. 212 coming similarly from 
Lower Tirupati is an agreement between the 
stanattar and four people apparently Vaishnavas, 
namely, 5lvar Mudaliyar, Ulahudaiyaperumal, 
Tiru Anandalvar and Narayana Perumal. It is of 
date 6. 1367 (13th December 1445). It makes 
provision for festivals on certain days in the 
names of the first two, and on certain other days 
in the names of the next two, for which they paid 
different sums, and stipulates the details of, how, 
after food-service to the God, it was to be disposed 
of. No. 213 is from the hill shrine and is of 
date &. 1367 (15th December 1445). It is an 



agreement between the stSnattSr and one Ananta- 
sayana, son of Ramanujadasa, a member of the 
TinicchanSr Sabha. It makes provison for some 
kind of food-service for the flag-hoisting of the 
seven festivals in the hill shrine, and two festivals 
of the shrine in Lower Tirupati. The details 
of the food-service are given as usual, and 
the agreement had been put on record by the 
temple accountant. No. 215 comes from Lower 
Tirupati, and is of S. 1368 corresponding to 23rd 
November 1446. It is an agreement between the 
stanattar and a member of the Tirucchanur SabhS 
whose name is given as Vadamamalaidasar 
Alahar Appillai Tiruvanandalvar Periya Perumal. 
It is a provision again for some kind of food- 
service on the nine flag-hoisting festivals as in 
the previous document. No. 216 similarly comes 
from Lower Tirupati and is of date . 1368 
corresponding to 14th November 1446. It is 
again an agreement between the stanattar and 
Alahiya Perumal, son of Ramanujadasa, a 
member of the Tirucchanur Sabhft. This records 
a payment of 200 gold pieces into the temple 
treasury, and makes provision for a food-service 
during the 30 days of the month of Mnrga{i 
(December January) of the year. 


DEVARAYAi The inscription No. 217, is outside 
the temple on a slab at the end of the Sannidhi 



Street in Lower Tirupati. It refers to the reign 
of Virapratapa Mallikarjuna Devaray a, and is 
dated $. 1871 corresponding to 4th March 1450. 
It is an agreement between two ri Vaishgava 
Brahmans of Tirupati, Alvar Mudaliyar and 
Ulahucjaiyaperumal Mudaliyar for the sale of a 
house in the hill-town of Tirupati, belonging to 
Tirukkudavfir-nadu to a resident of Chandragiri 
in Yaikunthavala-nadu, a Niyogi by name 
Lasamalikam Chennappa Udaiyar. The neit 
one, No. 218 comes from the hill shrine and is 
of date . 1372 (31st August 1450), and does not 
refer to the ruler. It is a record of an agreement 
between the stanattar and Sirumallaiyadeva , 
son of Malagangayyadeva Maharaja with the 
titles MahamandaleSvara Medini-Mlsara-Ganda- 
Kattari Sftluva. He paid 1,200 gold pieces into 
the treasury for a daily food-service in his name. 
No. 219 from the hill shrine refers to a date 
. 1367, although the latter part of the date 
is gone, corresponding to 13th December 1445. 
This is an agreement between the stanattftr as 
usual and one Emberumanar Jlyar for two food- 
services in his name for which he paid 2,000 
gold pieces into the temple treasury. The 
detailed provision for this service is recorded. 
The interesting point in this record is that this 
Emberumanar Jiyar is said to be the owner or 
resident of the flower-garden Pankayachelvi on 



the hill, and he is also described as one who 
supervised the affairs of the temple (Koil Kelvf)^ 
thus giving us indication of one of the items 
arranged for in connection with Ramanuja's 
organisation. No. 220 is also from the hill-shrine 
and is of date 6. 1367 (17th February 1446). This 
is an agreement between the Jiyar and the 
st5nattar, and provides for food-service in the 
name of the Jiyar on the nine flag-hoisting 
festivals, seven in the hill shrine and two in 
Lower Tirupati, and two other festivals, one on 
the hill, a flower-service (pushpayagci), and on 
the day of the concluding festival of Govindaraja. 
He paid 1,000 gold pieces into the treasury. 
Another detail of importance in this is .that, 
on the day of the pushpayaga, the God and 
His consorts come to the pavilion named 
Malaikkimyaniiiraperumal and listen to the 
recital of the Tiruvayoli, Nammalvar's portion 
of the Prabhandha, and then the usual provision 
for the distribution of food follows. After the 
usual distribution of food the remaining part 
was to be given over to the Jiyar who was. in 
charge of the flower-garden, Pankayachelvi, and 
the Ma^ha should receive it. The Jiyars .are 
described as Ekaki, that is, single Vaishnavas. 
They must be unmarried men and should be 
entitled to receive this part of the food in 
succession. No. 221 also from; the hill shrine is 



I similar provision for certain other festivals 
along with the nine flag-hoisting ceremonies. The 
provision is 1,000 gold pieces and the details of 
distribution of service, etc., are the same as 
before. It is of date 6. 1368 (27th January 1446). 
No. 222 from Tirupati is a similar provision. It 
is only the name of the year that is given 
corresponding to 17th July 1447. In addition to 
the usual nine festivals, certain other festivals 
are included* No. 223 is from Lower Tirupati 
and refers to date . 1378, (21st February 1457). 
It is an agreement between the stSnattar and the 
Emberumanar Jiyar, who paid 5,000 gold pieces 
for certain daily services to the temple of 
Govindaraja in the temple. But the interesting 
point of the document is that the 5,000 gold 
pieces made over to the treasury, should be 
applied to the digging of the tank in the 
temple village of Aviiali, and, from the income 
derived therefrom, the provision for the service 
should be made. Similar provision for distri- 
bution of food is made as in previous cases. 
No. 224 is a particularly interesting document 
throwing light upon certain important matters of 
internal administration. It refers to the year 
. 1872 (1450-51). It was provision made by 
a certain Channakesavadasa for taking out a 
canal from the boundary of Bain<Japalli to the 
village Sittakkuttai, and taking out a canal from 



that of a different character, perhaps from 
percolated water called Ka$akkal to the tank at 
Avilali wherefrom water should be carried to 
cultivate lands that had not been brought into 
cultivation in the Sittakuttai village. The 
Baiiujapalli people objected that, if this irrigation 
work should be carried out, their lands were 
likely to suffer, and lands under cultivation 
would go out of cultivation. The matter there- 
fore was taken to the notice of the officers 
responsible, and an arrangement was made by 
which the land was made over to the people 
of Baindapalli, enjoining upon them the specific 
purpose for which this project was made. They 
are said to have made satisfactory arrangements 
for carrying a canal through another part and 
altogether in another way to serve the same 
purpose successfully, but without detriment to 
their own properties. The food provision that 
was intended to be made to Vira Narasimhap- 
perumal of Srinivasapuram was made successfully 
in consequence. The food remaining after 
distribution to those entitled to it, was to be 
utilised for feeding those who were in residence 
at the RSmamijaku{a of the village. No. 225 is 
from the hill shrine of date 6. 1376 (7th July 
1454). It is an agreement between the stSnatiSr 
and Bamanujadasa, who was maintaining a 
flower-garden at Papanasa. This Dasa paid into 


the treasury 1,000 pieces of gold, and the 
necessary arrangements were made for carrying 
this out. The available food after distribution 
was to be given to the Sri Vaishijavas who 
were engaged in maintaining the flower-gardens. 
No. 226 merely records this piece of charity in a 
Sanskrit Sloka. 


from the Parthasarathi shrine within the precincts 
of the Govindarajasvami temple in Lower 
Tirupati. It is of date S. 1308 which would mean 
A. D. 24th March 1387. It is an agreement 
between the etanattar and the head among the 
Vaishnavas in Tirupati by name Kolli Kavali- 
dasa, the first part of the name being one of the 
titles of Kulasekhara Alvar. It is a daily food- 
service for which he paid 1,000 gold pieces into 
the treasury. The service was to be conducted 
perpetually, and the part of the food given to 
him should be continued to his descendents. As 
usual, the record is set down in writing by the 
temple accountant. The remaining seven or 
eight records are too far gone and too imperfect 
to make anything out of. It is only two or 
threfe documents of Volume II that fall within 
our period. The first has reference to !. 1367 
(13th December 1445). It is an agreement 
between the stanattar and Devanna, son of Periya- 
perumaldasa Arulaladasa of the Bharadvaja 



gVtra. It is a provision for a food : service an the 
nine flag-hoisting days as usual. The usual 
provision was made therefor. The next one 
No. 2 of Volume II is in the G5vindaraja shrine 
in Lower Tirupati and is of date & 1376 (25th 
August 1454). This is an agreement between the 
stanattar with one Hariyappa of Chandragiri. 
He is described as the son of a Gauranna, who 
was a Rig-Vedin of the Dananjaya gotra in 
Ssvalayana Sutra. He paid 3,000 gold pieces 
into the treasury for provision for food-service, 
to be used for feeding 12 Brahmans in Tirupati. 
The 3,000 gold pieces were to be applied for 
digging irrigation channels where the water 
supplied comes from springs or percolation, and 
the water should be made use of for purposes of 
cultivation ; the income from this was to be 
utilised for carrying out the terms of the pro- 
vision. The next one from Lower Tirupati is of 
date & 1379 (A. D. 1457) and is an agreement 
between the stftnattar, and the temple accountant 
Tiruninraiyurudaiyan. He paid 100 gold pieces 
for a festival to be celebrated in his name by 
taking God Govindaraja to a flower pavilion, 
which he himself constructed on the bank of a 
new tank r!nivasaputteri. This work of charity 
should be conducted by all his successors for 
all time. 



TiRUPATii We may take it roughly that we 
have so far covered the first century of the 
history of Vijayanagar, as far as it comes from 
the records of Tirupati. We see that almost the 
first record in Tirupati makes a reference to 
Bukkaraya, although the reference is imperfect 
and to a great extent the record is unintelligible. 
But it certainly does relate to something that was 
done in the name of Bukkaraya or in his honour. 
The last record chronologically takes us to the 
reign of Mallikarjuna and to the date A. D. 1457. 
That is pretty well on in the reign of Mallikarjuna, 
while he actually died in A. D. 1465, and was 
succeeded by a brother by name Virupaksha 
who is referred to by historians as Virupaksha III 
of Vijayanagar. With this change the actual 
character of Vijayanagar history changes in 
many ways, more particularly in Tirupati. But 
before proceeding to that question we may note 
here that the region round Tirupati had been 
under rulers who were subordinate to the empire, 
but carried on the administration with a freedom 
which would perhaps justify an inference that 
the control exercised by the empire was not so 
close. This need not necessarily be the case, as 
we have already explained that the change in the 
manner of dating, and therefore the omission very 
often of any reference to the reigning monarch 



consequent thereon, need not be due to want of 
control. The dates being given in the &aka era, 
it does not necessarily involve introducing, as a 
matter of necessity, the name of the ruler for the 
time being, as in the case of inscriptions of the 
period anterior to this, where they had neces- 
sarily to mention the name of the ruling 
sovereign, as the dates are marked in the year 
of the reign of the monarch for the time being* 
It is clear, however, that this region forming a 
part of the empire had a distinct character of 
its own. We see, among the names of royal 
personages, those of Bukkaraya, the first of 
the name ; his son Kumara Kampana, Devaraya II 
and Mallikarjuna figure, though indirectly, the 
indirectness being due to the manner of dating, as 
explained above. The names of these monarcha 
figure because the benefactions made to the 
temple in each case happens to be in honour of 
the sovereign or prince concerned. As in the 
period preceding, the temple management had 
remained altogether autonomous, and under the 
control of the ri Vaish^avas of the locality. 
The features of temple organisation show this 
more clearly, and a number of details appear in 
respect of it which seem quite reminiscent of the 
various items of organisation that Ramanuja is 
said to have actually carried out in the place. 
This is made certain by references to a certain 



number of festivals which were all his introduc- 
tion. One particular feature to be noticed is 
that while, on the basis of Ramanuja's arrange- 
ment, almost the whole of the Prabandha seems 
to have been recited on festival days, a special 
provision was made for the chanting of some of 
these, such as the Tiruppavai. There has so far 
been no reference to the chanting of the Veda in 
front of the God, either in the shrine itself, or 
when the image of God is taken out in proces- 
sions, or, as the record words it, that "while 
Tiruvengadamudaiyan had all other attributes 
of greatness, the chanting of the Veda was the 
one item wanting." We find provision made here 
for the recital of the Veda (veda-pHrclyana as 
it is called), and that happens to be done by the 
most prominent Vaishnavas of the locality bring- 
ing it to the notice of Devanna Udaiyar who set 
apart some of the royal revenue, one half the 
revenue of ittakkuttai for the purpose ; but, as 
suggested by Kalikanridasar Alagappiranar, 
under the name of and in honour of the sovereign 
Devaraya II, Devaraya Maharaya, as he is called 
in the record. There are a large number of 
benefactions to the temple, several of them from 
officers of importance, while some of them are 
from people associated with the management of 
the temple such as the heads of some of the 
Mafias in the gardens round the temple, where 



resided the bachelors or Sanyteins, who had the 
management of the various institutions attached 
to the temple. One noticeable feature of these 
benefactions is that while the smaller of them 
are of the ordinary character, the larger 
benefactions take on the character of investments 
of money being made for irrigation and other 
facilities for the lands already under cultivation, 
or bringing uncultivated lands into cultivation, 
and making the income therefrom serve the 
purpose of the benefactions. This gives clear 
indication of a double purpose ; the acquisition 
of the religious merit of a benefaction in a holy 
place, and making this benefaction serve at the 
same time the secular useful piirpose of benefit- 
ting those who lived upon the land by providing 
them facilities, and really bringing more land 
under cultivation. This would be immediately 
for their benefit, so that what was intended 
for the spiritual merit of the individual donor 
proved of benefit not only to the God or the 
temple, or the Brahmans dependent thereon, 
but also served equally to benefit the other 
communities concerned. Direct state control, 
or of benefactions by the state as such, we have 
not come upon so far, and even where royalty 
and important officials made these benefactions, 
they were intended for their personal spiritual 
benefit, and therefore were provided for from 



tmt of thfcit own funds rather than from the 
funds of the state. The contributions therefore 
of the state its such may so far be regarded as 
fehftOst noil-existent, and the properties attaching 
to the temple are entirely, at any rate, so far as 
thitt shrine is concerned, the result of private 
benefactions for the benefit of the temple 




In the inscriptions so far considered, we have 
come upon rulers of Vijayanagar belonging to the 
first dynasty, of whom the latest to be mentioned 
is Mallikarjuna with dates going as far down as 
A. D. 1457. Mallikarjuna died in A. D. 1465, 
and was succeeded by Virupaksha, generally 
taken to be his brother, which seems to be made 
certain almost by the r!sailam plates of this 
ruler. His reign continued for twenty years 
almost, and then came a change of dynasty, 
when the new ruler, a member of the famous 
Saluva family, called Saluva Narasinga, placed 
himself on the throne of Vijayanagar. But long 
before he became emperor, he had become so 
influential in the state that the whole period 
since A. D. 1450 may be regarded as, in a way 
peculiarly, connected with him ; the more so in 
the region of Tirupati, because this family was 
early associated with this region with their 
headquarters at Chandragiri. In dealing with 
the period therefore following the year A. D. 1467, 
we find that tke inscriptions in Tinipati seem $6 


fefer more or less entirely to members of this 
family and their benefactions to the shrines. 
This is rightly so, for two valid reasons. The 
first of them naturally is because that the 
Saluvas, who played a distinguished part in the 
very foundation of the empire, were allotted this 
region for their government. We mentioned 
already an inscription of Saluva Mangu, record- 
ing his benefaction to the temple of the covering 
of the roof of the Vimanama^apa with gold and 
the mounting of a pinnacle on the top of it, in 
obvious imitation almost of what had been done 
by other rulers before in temples like Srlrangam 
and Chidambaram. Mangideva was one of the 
generals who played a distinguished part in 
the campaigns of Kumara Kampana, the son 
of Bukkaraya I. The principal achievements 
that he claims are the defeat and re-establish- 
ment of Sarnbuvaraya, and the defeat of the 
Muhammad a n Sultan of Madura, achievements 
both of them ascribed generally to Kumara 
Kampana, the prince in chief command of this 
expedition. So the Saluva family comes into fame 
almost at the beginning of Vijayanagar history ; 
but even so, it is not clear why they should be 
associated with this particular region as we find 
them already there. In the period anterior to 
this, families connected with the government of 
this region were certainly many; but none of 



them seems to be associated with the Saluvas. 
We have heard of the Telugu ChSlas in the loca- 
lity, of the Telugu Pallavae, of the Yadavarayas 
related to the Chalukya family. But anything 
like a Saluva family had not been heard of. In 
fact the family name Saluva, for this dynasty, 
was one of comparatively recent acquisition. In 
fact it was acquired by Mangi by his own 
achievements, and therefore we cannot well expect 
this name to occur in previous records. But even 
so, there is nothing obviously to connect them 
with any of those families except astray reference 
in which among the titles of the early rulers of 
this family, occurs the title Chalukya Narayana. 
This title is given to an ancestor of the family 
by name Guijida, who is said to have killed in 
battle * the Sultan who had got ready for the 
conquest of the world', and he is said to have 
been in residence in his capital Kalyanapura, the 
name by which Kalyani in the Nizam's Domi- 
nions, the capital of the later Chalukyas, is 
generally known. On the basis of these stray 
facts we may perhaps surmise that they were 
members of the Chalukya family like the 
Yadavarayas, and became early associated with 
this locality. If the associations of this family 
with Kalyani should be correct, it may be that 
that was their original place, and they must have 
moved from there, because of the conquest of the 


Dakhan by the Muharowadans, and the founda- 
tion of the Bahmani kingdom. Whatever it is, 
they seem to have been members of the Chalukya 
family who migrated southward a, and early 
settled in the region round Tirupati with perhaps 
their headquarters at Chandragiri, which, at that 
time, was probably unoccupied country requiring 
to be brought into civilisation by various acts of 
reclamation, which we shall find prominently to 
be a feature of even the various grants made in 
this period to the temple itself. A long genealogy 
is given of this family in the work SaluoSbhyu- 
dhayam, which has come down to us in a single 
manuscript, a poetical work celebrating the 
exploits of Saluva Narasimha written by the 
court poet Rajanatha Dindima. There is another 
work ascribed to Narasimha himself; but seems 
to be more or less a work of this Rajanatha 
Dindima called RamSbhyudhaya which is a KSoya 
written relating the story of the Ramayaga. 
The first name of any historical importance even 
in this is that of a Mangi or Mangideva who 
played an important part, as was stated above, in 
Kampala's southern invasion. Mangi had one 
son, among many, by name Gautama or Grauta, 
one of six sons; but of whom we know very 
little. Thia Gauta had four sons, of whom the 
first wat Ghuj4a, the third of the name in the 
family, who had two sons, Timma the elder, and 


Narasimha, better known as Saljiva Narasittga. 
He had another son by name Tippa, who had 
married a sister of the great Devaraya II himself, 
whose son Gopa proved to be a distinguished 
ruler about the time when Saluva Narasimha was 
rising into importance. Gopa had two sons? 
Timma 'or TirumalaidSva, and Tippa or 
Tripurantaka, both of whom were governors in 
the southern provinces of the empire. Narasimha 
had two sons both of them very young, and 
of whom we shall have to speak later on. 
There was another brother by name Saluva who 
had a son Parvataraja, whose name also appears 
in the inscriptions as governor. This is the 
distinguished family, which, from the surname 
or title Mangideva acquired, has got to be 
described the Saluvas more or less as the name 
of the family. 


SALUVA NARASIMHA i The advent of the Saluvas 
to power coincided with a period of new trouble 
and confusion in the history of Vijayanagar, 
and this it is that provided an opportunity for 
the rise of Saluva Narasimha to supreme power 
as we shall see. It is the prominent position 
that they occupied among the feudatories of 
the empire that gave them the title Saluva, 
which became the name of the family or the 
dynasty, as we have already seen. They were 




content to be the feudatories of Vtjayanagar 
from the date of its foundation to the death 
of Mallikarjuna without any trouble. The death 
of Mallikarjuna seems to have introduced a 
certain amount of disturbance, which seems to 
have been caused more or less by an act of 
usurpation by his younger brother, who followed 
Mallikarjnna in A. D. 1465. He had to set 
aside two boys, sons of his brother, and, in 
bringing this about permanently in the interests 
of his own children, he seems to have perpet- 
rated a massacre of the members of the royal 
family, and made himself unpopular even other- 
wise. It is this that ultimately brought about 
the usurpation of Saluva Narasimha. The suc- 
cession of rulers of this first dynasty may be 
set down as below, taking only the names of 
those that ruled : 

Harihara I A. D. 13361355. 
Bukka A. D. 1355-1377. 
Harihara II A, D. 1377- 1404. 
Bukka II A. D. 14041406. 
Devaraya I A. D. 14061422. 
Vijaya Bhfipati A. D. 1422. 
Devaraya II A. D. 14221449. 
Mallikarjuna A. D. 14491465. 
Virupaksha A. D. 14651485. 

The foundation of Vijayanagar was followed 
soon by the establishment of the Muhammadan 



Bahmani kingdom in the Dakhan, and, from the 
circumstances of its very foundation, it became 
more or less a matter of necessity for the rulers 
of Vijayanagar to guard the northern frontier 
against the aggressions of this new power. 
That was more or less the preoccupation of the 
rulers of Vijayanagar under the first dynasty, 
nay almost throughout its whole period 
of existence. The first rulers, Bukka and 
Harihara, and those associated with them had, 
of course, to carry on campaigns elsewhere also 
to bring about the establishment of this new 
power. Once that was done, and the fact was 
more or less recognised with the accession of 
Harihara II, their whole attention had to be 
paid to the northern frontier. Invasions were 
usual, and Vijayanagar had to be constantly on 
the defensive. This became so regular and so 
irritating a feature that the great Devaraya II 
carried out a regular reorganisation of the forces 
of Vijayanagar in such a way as not merely to 
keep back the aggressions of the Muhammadans, 
but even turn the tables upon them by carrying 
an invasion or two successfully against them, so 
that, by the time that the reign of Devaraya II 
came to an end, the power of Vijayanagar had 
become well-established, and even their Bahmani 
neighbour showed an inclination to respect it 




NA&ASiMHAt Just at the moment, a new state in 
the north was coming into existence in Orissa 
under a new and vigorous ruler Kapilesvara. 
The advent of this ruler coincided almost with 
the accession of Mallikarjuna who had, almost 
as the first act of his reign, to stand a siege in 
Vijayanagar under the combined forces of the 
Bahmani Sultans and the ruler of Orissa. He 
managed to come out successful; but the 
aggressions of the Orissa Hindus continued 
nevertheless. They managed gradually to extend 
their territory and take possession of the coast 
districts of the Bahmani kingdom as far as the 
Godavari river, and, placing themselves there, 
they carried further aggressions southwards to 
secure possession of some of the main fortresses 
along the lower course of the Krishna, such as 
Kon4apalli, Kondavidn, and places like that. 
Prom there again, they advanced further south 
into the territory of Vijayanagar, and at one 
time were in possession of Udayagiri in the 
Nellore District and carried their raids much 
farther, and deep into the South Arcot District 
as well. So the period of history with which we 
are concerned was one which called for great 
activity, along this coast region, to keep back 
the aggressions of these Kalingas, or Orissa 
rulers, within bounds. This position of affairs 



would give to any ruler, placed in Chandragiri 
and regions in the immediate neighbourhood, 
the chance of distinguishing himself by loyal 
service to the empire, and thereby becoming 
powerful for good or for evil, and, if the 
governor happened to be a talented man, he 
could certainly turn all this to his own advantage. 
While apparently serving the interests of the 
empire after beating back the first combined 
invasion, Mallikarjuna had to be constantly 
active, and we have a record which states that 
Mallikarjuna and his minister were somewhere 
in the eastern borders of the empire attending to 
the affairs of the territory under Narasinga.* 
This gives clear indication that the anxiety of 
the rulers was in respect of this activity of the 
Orissa rulers. That was the opportunity, for 
Saluva Narasinga and he used this opportunity 
to purpose. 


POWER i The Saluvas beginning with Saluva 
Mangu were associated with the region round 
Tirupati, and their capital is clearly stated to 
have been Chandragiri. For all historical 
purposes, it was the Chandragiri province that 
fell to the government of these rulers, however 
actually it came about. It might be that the 

* E. C. HI Nos. W, 59. Sewell's Hist. Ins. 
under date 1459. 



Bahivas were somehow related to the rulers 
of the locality that preceded them, say, for a 
possibility, the YSdavaraya* ; or it may be, that 
they came newly into power in the region which 
may be as the result of Vijayanagar coming into 
authority over the region superseding the 
previous rulers. There is nothing so far that 
gives us a clear indication as to how exactly they 
came to be there. Saluva Mangu and Gropanarya 
are stated to be the ruler and the minister of 
Naraya^avaram in the Kdvil Oluhu (the history 
of temple organisation at Srirangam). That 
certainly would take in the territory under the 
To^damans of old, and, if they became ulti- 
mately rulers of Ohandragirirajyam, it would be 
nothing unnatural. Of course during the period 
of activity of Saluva Mangu and his successors, 
it would have been a governorship, the governors 
of which bore their part and shared the responsi- 
bility iu the conquests which culminated in the 
establishment of the empire of Vijayanagar. Of 
course, so much is made clear even in the one 
record that has come down to us of Saluva 
Mangu from Tirupati itself. But as we advance 
in Vijayanagar history, we find the province 
continuing its normal course till the end of the 
reign of DSvaraya II. It is the death of this great 
monarch, and almost the simultaneous rise of a 
new dynasty in Orissa, that altered the political 



situation. Till then it was only the activity of the 
Bahmani Sultans that had to be provided against 
efficiently, and that was done more specifically 
under Devaraya II. It is DSvaray a f s military equip* 
ment and the improvement in the military 
efficiency of Vijayanagar that made the Bahmanis 
feel the need of an alliance, just when Kapilevara 
of Orissa had satisfactorily established himself, 
and was quite inclined to pursue a policy of 
aggression on Vijayanagar territory. Devaraya's 
reign would not be suitable for any attacks on 
the empire with impunity, and it seems likely 
that his death might cause disturbances in 
Vijayanagar endangering the succession of the 
prince, although we do not know positively of 
any such disturbance having taken place. But 
the succession of a young ruler like Mallikarjuna 
was the opportunity for the united enemies, the 
rulers of the Bahmani kingdom and the new 
ruler of Orissa. So in A, D. 1450 we are told of 
an attack upon the empire of Vijayanagar, 
Mallikarjuna having had to stand a siege in the 
capital itself. He managed for the time to beat 
back the enemy. But that only gave indication 
of the actual danger in the northern frontier. 
The rulers of Vijayanagar therefore had to 
provide efficient defences against the aggressions 
from the coast side on behalf of Orissa even more 
urgently than aggressions from the Bahmani 



kingdom itself. It is this that gave the opportu- 
nity for a talented governor of Chandragiri to 
make for himself a position many ways unique 
among those of the governors of the empire. 
Saluva Gunda himself has had to bear a part. 
Either while he was yet alive or subsequently, 
the activities of Orissa became real, and then 
advanced into the territory of Vijayanagar on 
the eastern side rapidly from step to step till 
they could occupy a considerable part of the 
coast districts on the east and go forward against 
Kondavidu, Udayagiri, and further down into 
the districts of the Tamil country. It is this 
activity of Orissa that caused anxiety and 
brought about the emperor Mallikarjuna and his 
minister going towards this frontier with a view 
to organise the defences of the kingdom. Saluva 
Narasimha placing himself across the way of this 
advance of the Orissa rulers was able to use his 
position gradually and effectively against this. 
Marching from place to place, and pressing 
back the enemy back from one place after 
another, he managed to drive the enemy from 
the territories immediately dependent upon him 
in ti^e region south of this Nellore District, and 
then over Udayagiri Fort and places dependent 
upon it. That done he could put the southern 
border; in some safety, and march northwards to 
be on the watch both against the king of 


and against the Bahmani Sultans.. These latter 
were occupied for some time with their own 
internal difficulties, and, with the accession of 
Muhammad Shah III, they were in some position 
of safety in their own territory to think of 
an aggression eastwards. When therefore in 
A. D. 1483 84, Muhammad Shah advanced 
towards Rajahmundry and encamped himself on 
the hanks of the Godavari, he found Salnva 
Narasimha in power there with a large army 
well posted. This indicates to ns clearly how it 
was that Narasimha was able to build a peculiar 
position for himself, by rendering valuable 
services to the state as against its enemies. 


stages of the operations connected with this 
move, Vijayanagar was under the rule, not of 
Mallikarjona, but of a brother of his, who might 
perhaps be regarded as having usurped the 
throne of Vijayanagar if not to begin with, at 
least soon after, and made himself unpopular as 
a consequence. Virupaksha, brother of Mallikar- 
juna became ruler about the end of the year 
A. D. 1465, following the death of Mallikarjuna 
somewhat earlier in the year, and thereafter 
Salnva Narasimha conducted himself as if he 
were independent of the headquarters, although 
there is nothing done openly or formally to 



assert this independence. In the years immediate- 
ly following we find Narasimha himself, or his 
generals, active, all over this region and in the 
southern districts next across. The names of 
Isvara, and his son Narasa, of Araviti Bukka and 
even Nag a ma Nayaka, figure in the transactions 
of the period, so that about the time that Saluva 
Narasimha had to fight against Muhammad 
Shah III, he had gradually brought under his 
control, all the territory extending from 
Rajahmundry southwards well into the South 
Arcot District and further stretching westwards 
deep into Mysore as far as Srirangapatam 
itself. His authority and influence would be 
nothing objectionable so long as he conducted 
himself as a valiant and powerful governor 
under the empire. That is almost the position 
that he maintained, although the emperor does 
not appear to have attempted to exercise much 
control, or Saluva Narasimha to submit himself 
to such. Virupaksha's administration, apart 
from the initial difficulties of the situation, did 
not improve with years ; much rather it seems 
to have grown from bad to worse, and, from 
all the information that we have, it would appear 
as though Virupaksha's mismanagement went all 
round to make his own position really difficult. 
His unpopular and incompetent rule showed itself 
even on the west coast where the , Portuguese 



speak of his perpetrating a massacre of the 
Muhammadan horse traders in Honovar (Onore). 
and throwing them into hostility to them. In 
this condition of affaire, Virupaksha seems to 
have made an effort to set aside his nephews, and 
secure the succession to his own sons, which 
brought about dissatisfaction in the empire, and 
provided a splendid occasion for Narasimha's 
usurpation. The position of the empire was such 
that it required a watchful and capable ruler to 
keep the empire intact. Emperor Virupaksha 
was not the kind of ruler, and his acts only made 
matters worse. When the moment arrived, 
Narasimha was able to set aside the unpopular 
princes, the successors of Virupaksha and occupy 
the throne himself as offering the best guarantee 
for the successful maintenance of the integrity of 
the empire. It would be clear from this that from 
A. D. 1450 to A. D. 1485, Saluva Narasimha was 
left more or less to himself, governing the 
provinces under his control and extending his 
authority gradually to become really the most 
powerful man in the empire. We shall now 
proceed to the inscriptions of this period in the 
temple of Tirupati, and see how far this position 
of his is reflected in his records there, and what 
he actually was able to do for the temple itself. 

End of Volume I. 


Xchuryas, age of the Vaishnava, 

Adikan, AdiyamSn chieftain, 23. 

Xditya I, crushed AparSjita, 215; 
built 300 shrines to Siva, 383; 
conquest of Ton4aman4alam by, 
228-29 ; brought Toi^amangalam 
under the authority of the Ch51as, 

Xditya II, Karikala, KS-PSrthiven- 
dravarman, a designation of his, 

Xdityavarman, 215 ; of Taga<Jflr 28. 
Adhlkllri, an officer, 243. 
AhananZru, 9, 10, 17. 

Ahobalam (Singavelkunram) 3. 173, 

AhSbalaraya, 372. 
Xkafaganga 303, 304. 

XkaiVRaja, 41, 42, 43, 44; father- 
in-law of God VenkajSia, 296. 

Akkan KZnikkai, 352. 
Alagiya PerumaJ, 441. 

AlahappirHn } a pavilion, at Tiru- 
pati, 427. 

AJahappiranar, father of Kajikanri- 
dSsa, 428 ; son of Tim Kalikanri- 
dlsa, responsibility of, for the 
institution of Vlda P&rUyanam at 
the temple at Tirapati, 434* fif. 

AlamSlumanga 1 shrine, same as 
Ilangovil, 327. 

XjavandSr, same as YSmunacharya, 
262, 264, 294, 295, 437. 

Xlavandar, great grandfather of 
RSmanuja, 27. 

X^avandar, Yamunaitturaivar or 
YSmunSchSrya, grandson and 
successor of NVdamuni, 260 ff. 

Allaud-din-Khilji, 361, 395, 403, 
404, 406, 412. 

Allum TirukkalattideVa, same aY 
MadhurJntaka Pottappi, Tiruk- 
kflattid^va, 328. 

XivSr MudaliySr, 440, 442. 

Xlvars, community of religious 
feeling of, 82-83 ; forms of wor- 
ship among, 83-86 ; XjvSr Tiru- 
mangi, 259. 

AmarSvati, the capital of the 

Xndhras, 210. 

AmBghavarsha I (Rashtraktlta) 214. 
AnandSJvSn, 291, 373. 

AnandSlvar a disciple of Ramanuja, 
262, 278; appointed guardian 
adviser of the temple, 388, 389. 

i Anantarya, 292, 294, 302, 306, 307, 
1 308 ; set up the image of Yamuna- 
chSrya, 304-05; had a sor. 
RamSnuja, 305 ; set up an image 
of Ramanuja and instituted a 
I festival, 308-09; two miracles 
to by God Srinivasa, 298-300; 
author of Wnkaftchala ItihSsa.- 
m&/a, 262 ; appointed to manage 
the Tirupati temple, 267, 278, 
made the adviser of YSdavaraja; 

Anantasayana, son -of RamSnuja- 
dasa, 441. 

Aparajita, dissensions among the 
Pallavas after the time of, 228. 

AparSjata Pallava, 188; crushed 

by Xditya I, 215. 
Arangan, 69. 
Archa, 154. 

Ari?3nalayam, a flower-garden, 429. 
Arupkki, a ChCJa officer, 240. 
Aruvar-anayak5vil PiUai, 327. 
AUftpuvakaram, 81. 
AubalarSya, 372. 

'Avanisimha PSttarSja' (Simha- 
vishnu), 214. 



AvulSH, same as Avilali, 374. 


Ayiri, river, same as Hagari, 10, 11. 

Ayyavarman (Harivarman), 113. 

ittandavimnna, tower over the 
sanctum of the temple, repairs 
to, 433. 

Xngal, a foster- daughter of Periya 
XlvSr, 156, 168; an account of, 
161-66 ; TiruppZvai of, Orga- 
nised by RSmSnuia, 339-40; 
shrine of GoVindarSja, 349. 

Xndhras, the, 222, 223 ; account of 

Bachelor Superintendent, appoint* 
ed to be in charge of the temple, 

Ba-dami, 214, 216. 

Bahau-d-din Gushtasp, account of, 


Bain4apaltf, 444, 445. 
Balabhadra (Balarama), 192. 
Baladeva, 194, 195, 198. 
Balarama (Balabhadra), 192. 
B&asubrahmanya, 116. 
Bali, 93. 

BalPla, 366, 367. 

BaUaJadeVa, 352 ; tax levied by, 366. 
BIna Chiefs, 213. 
BZnas, the, 222, 223. 
Bappa, 213. 

B5pu NJyakar PemmlnSyakar, 372. 
Belflr, 412, 413. 
Bhagavadglta, 84. 
BhaktSngrirSnu, a name of Tonflar- 

a4ipo# Xlvar, 156. 

Bhaktisara, a name of Tirumalisai, 

BhSratavtHbH, written by PerundS- 
vanSr, ifc, 186, 209, 380. 

Bhlrgava, father of Tirumalisai, 

BMkktft-Tappnva KUyara 
a Vijayanagar title, 426. 

\ Bhimavarman, 215. 

Bhujabala Siddharasa, same as 
RSjamalla YSdavarfya, 285. 

Bhtttam XlvVr, 53, 100, 177 ; account 
of, 69-75. 

BhQtattu XlvSr, 32. 
Bissanua D8var3ya, 432. 

Bl^idSva (Kannada form of Vishnu* 

dtva) 271, 272, 273, 276. 
Brindavanam, 164. 

British Museum Plates of Chftru- 
dfvi, 218. 

Buddhyankura, a name of Vijaya- 
buddhavarman, 218. 

Buddhavarman, 213, 215. 
Buddhavarman II, 213. 
I Buddhism, 86. 

Bukka 1, same as Bukkarfiya, 393, 
423, 424, 425, 458, 459. 

I Bukka II, 458. 

Bukkaraya I (same as Bakka I) 393, 
422, 423, 448, 449, 454. 

Chaitanya, 144. 

Clrityukyas of BSdami, contempo- 
rary of the Pallavas, 215, 217 ; 
expansion of the power of, 222 ; 
relations of the, with the Cholas, 
251-55; and Bi(tideva, 272; 
ChQukya Family, the, and the 
Yadavarayas, 455-56. 

ChSlukySs, Eastern, establishment 
of the Kingdom of, 224, 315; 
Kuffittunga, a Prince of the 
dynasty of, 644 ; titles of, 245-46 ; 
and the ChBiat, 252-55 ; Eastern 
and Western, 317; the Western, 

1 ChVlukya NSrayaga, a title of 
Gun^a, 455. 

1 Chanfadanja, 213. 
Chan<J31as, allowed to go and offer 
worship to the footmarks of 
Srlnivlsa under the tamarind 
tree, 301. 


Ckanftya-tlrtha, a tank, 301. 

Chandragiri, 208, 430, 431, 433, 443, 
456, 461, 464; and the early 
S&luvas, 453. 

Chandaragiri Mai lanna, (See Mai- 
lanna), 433. 

Channaktfavadl&a, 444. \ 

ChSrudEvi, a Pallava Queen, 189, 
206, 213 ; British Museum Plates 
of, 218. 

Chidambaram (Chitrakn, 105, 
169, 177, 362, 392, 398, 405, 454; 
GSvindaraja of, 293; Govindaraja 
idol removed from, 326; GoVinda- 
raja idol in the great temple at, 
cast into the sea, 262, 266, 267, 

Chitrakttta, (Chidambaram), 169. 

Chittoor, 202. 

Cho'las, rise and expansion of the 
power of, 225 ff; actual feuda- 
tories of, 316 ff; the imperial, 
relations of, with the Hoy&las, 
256-57; rule, of the, 206, 207, 
208; power of, -.gone out of 
existence, 358. 

ChSJa ChSlukya relations, 252-55; 
wars between, 316. . 

Conjeevaram, 209, 219, 221, 278. | 
Cuddalore (KTl^al) 317; capital of 
the KS4avas, 330, 335. 

Danti Vikramavarman, 18t. 
Dalaratha, 169. 

DeVagiri, capital of Die Ylflaras, 
861, 399, 408, 406, 

DeVanna, son of Periyaperumtldasa 
AruTOadSsa, 446. 

Devagga U4aiyaj, 434, 438 439. 
DeVaprayaga, 159. 
DeVarasa, 433. 
DeVa R5ya 1, 458. 

Deva Raya II, 449, 450, 458, 459, 
462, 463 ; inscriptions of, at Tim- 
pati, 431, ff; institution of 
y?ctap3rfyana t at Tirupati by, 
431 ff; a sister of his married to 
Tippa, 457. 

Deva Raya MahSrSya, same as 
Deva Raya II, 450. 

D?vi Ammanar, the daughter of a 
ChSraraan and the wife of ParSn- 
taka II Sundara ChSia, 240. 

Draksharama, 252. 

Emberumanar, 340. 
Emberumanar Jiyar, 442, 444. 
EjrakampayyadSva MaharSja, 440. 

Erumai, the Va^ukar Perumakan, 
5, 10. 

DalTlra, 218. 

Dan4anVyaka, a title given to all 
dignitaries of rank, 354. 

DannSyakankftttai, 355, 416 ; chief- 
taincy of, 402. 

Dantidurga Vairamegha, founder of 
the Rashtrakttta Empire, 177. 

Dantip3ttara!ar, 220. ... 

Dantivannaa, 189 ; inscriptions of, 
220-21 ; Vijaya-Dantivikrama, 
a name of, 221; .vanquished 
RSshtrakBtA G&vinda III, 215; 
Pallava, 234. 

Dantivikramadeya, inscriptions of, 
at TirucoblnVr, 229-30. 

Ga^apati, K^katiya ruler, 385. 
GanjagtpZlan Jlf&fai, gold, coins, 


Gan4ag5palas, account of, 336 ff. 
Gangaikon^a Ch8K 251, 252, m 
Gangtikon<}a 51a Brahma MSrSvan, 

of title a K5<Jinambi Ang5<Ji, 241. 

GangarSja, VishnuvArdhan^s 

general, captured Talakkld, 273. 

Gangas, the, land .of, 222 ; frontiers 
of, settled, 317. 

G*ngyas, 318. ... 
Gauta, see Gautama, 456. 


Gautama, (a son of Mangi) 456. 

Ghatika. 233. 

GhaftideVa, theYadavartyacontem- 

porary of RSmSnujm, 282, 286,318; 

help of, to RSmfcnuja 312-13; 

account of, 319-21, 
GhattidCva II, 322. 
Ghiasu-d-din Tughlak, 408. 
Ginji, 317. 
GirideVappa, 431. 
Gita, 118, 123, 131. 
G5d5, a name of Xn<Jal, 161. 
G<5pa, son of Tippa, 457. 

Gopanarya, 420, 433, minister of 
Sajuva Mangu, 462. 

Gopinatha, identification of, 433 
Gopinathayya, 432, 433.? 
Govinda, 301. 
Govindu III (Rashtrakflta), 215. 

Govinda BhuJJa, Ramauuja's cousin, 

GovindarSja God, 177, 443, 484, 
image of, set up at Lower Tiru* 
pati at the instance of Ramanuja, 
262, 266, 267, 270, 281-82, 292-94, 
construction of the temple of, 
320, 326 ; temple of, 302 344, 345, 
347, 348, 349, 351, 370, 389, 447 j 
shrine of Tirumangai Xjvar in, 
327; and Vijaya Gancjagopala, 338. 

Govindarajapperumal, shrine of, 
429, 430, 440; Parthasarathi 
shrine in, 446. 

Govindavarman, 215. 

Gunadhara, MahSndravacJi inscrip- 
tion of, 219. 

Gua^a, a son of Gautama, 456 ; 

had the title ChSlukya NSrlyana, 

Gurshasp, see Bahau-d-din Gush* 

tasp, 408. 
Guruparamparas, 257, 259, 260, 262, 

^4, 273, 275, 276, 280, 287, 381 ; 

account contained in, compared 

to that contained in VtHkafahala 

IlihZsam&a, 269-273. 

Halabig, 407, 408, 412, 413. 
Hampi, the ruins of Vijayanagai 

at, 253. 

Honovar (Onore), 467. 
Hanumakon4a, capital of the 

Warangal Kingdom, 403. 
Hanuman, 158 ; seal of, given to the 

Bachelor Superintendent, 307. 
HaraptladeV, 406. 
Harihara I 424, 458, 459. 
Harihara II, 429, 458, 459. 
Harihararaya, (Harihara II), 429. 
ffarir&ya (arirftya) vit>Zfa, a 

Vijayanagai title, 426. 
Harivarman (Ayyavarman), 213. 
Hiranyavarman, tn. RShini, 215. 
lioysalas, and the Ch5J[as, and the 

Panflyas, 330 ff ; and the Yadava- 
I ray as, 354 ff; rule of, and rela- 
tions of, with Vira PSngya, 360 ; 

expansion of the, in the South, 

395 ff. 

Ik$v3ku, 24. 

IlaigkarPtrumakan, a name of 
Pulli, 9-10. 

Ilaiyar, 69. 

Uamgiri, same as Tirumll Irum 
g51ai, 69. 

llango A<jigal 185, description of 
V5nga(Jain by, 96 ff. 

IlangSvil (AlamSlu-manga shrine), 

KSvil, same asTirumSl I/um 
i, 69, 92. 

Ilankoyil (V^nga^am) 229, 23 L 

Ilam Kumaran, (Subrahmanya), 67, 

Ilam Kumarar K5m2n, 80, 94. 

IlamTiraiyanof K3nchi,204; diffe- 
rent from Tiraiyan, 17; identifi- 
cation of, 20 ff; institution of 
festivals by, 21 ; (TontfamSn) not 
the founder of the temple at 
Tirupati, 205; the Pallava .rule 
begins after, 207. 

immadi Rlhutta RSyan, title of 
Singayya DaitfanSyaka, 352, 353. 

Indra, 191. 

Isvara, a general of SSluva Nara- 
simha, 466. 

lyUrpU thousand, 171. 

Jainism, 86. 

Jalalu-d-din Xsan Shah, founded 
the Muhammadan state at 
Madura, 407 ff. 

] at a v arm an KulaieTchara Pan4ya 

the last contemporary of Kulot- 

unga 111, 329. 
Jatavarman Sundara Pan4ya 1, 322, 

344, 345 426; account of, 331 ff; 

and the Cho>s 398 ; death of, 359. 
Jatavarman Sundara Pan<Jya 11, 359. 
Jayamkoitfa Chola Brahmamara- 

yan, 325. 
Jayamkon^atolapuram, same as 

Mu^ikontjaiol.apuram, 359. 

J5gimallavaram, 237, 241, 247. 

Kacchi, 76. 

Ksujava, feudatory of the Cho].as, 

defeated by Jafcavarman Sundara 

P3n4ya, 332. 
Ka^van PerundeVi, a title of 

SSmavvai, 232. 

K34avas, disloyalty of, 330-331. 
K4iyamr, 23. 
KSkatiya rulers, 361. 
Kalahasti, 3, 302, 217, 224, 230, 235, 

249, 250, 279, 280, 379, 380, 386. 

Kalavali Forty, 57. 

Kalavar (Katvar) movement of the, 

KalikanfidSsa, 327 ; son of Alagap- 

pir5nr, 32^.' 
KalikartTidliar AUgappiranar, 450. 

Kall54anar, an author referring to 
Tirupati, 9. 

Kajvars, recovery from, 216. 
Kalyanapura, the name of Kaly^ni, 

KalySni, the capital of the 4ater 
Chalukyas, 455. 

Kampana, same as K u m a r a 
Kampana 456. 

Kampili, kingdom of, 408. 
KSmavilli of Pttvainagar, 374. 
Kamban, 138. 

Kanakkayanar, father of Nakkirar, 

Kanchi, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 
31, 32, 33, 50, 62, 70, 76, 80, 81, 

104, 105, 108, 134, 177, 185, 188, 

105, 207, 209, 211, 212, 219, 222, 
313, 332, 334, 335, 337, 380, 398; 
headquarters of Ton4aman4alam, 
202; capital of llam Tiraiyan, 
17, 204; recaptured from the 
Cholas from Yuvamaharaja Vish- 
nugopa 11, 213. 

Kanikannan, 32, 33 ; account of, 
104 fT.' 

Kanikkai, 351. 
Kanaikkal Irumporai, 57. 
Kannan, a name of Vishnu, 151. 

Kannan, son of Ka^Iir Kilar, refers 
to Venga4am as belonging to 
Tiraiyan, 11. 

Kannanu'r (Vikramapura) the old 
Hoysala capital, 360, 397, 413, 
415, 418; fortified by Hoysala 
Narasimha II, 331, 

Kannapuram, 182. 

Kapila Tirtka, 297, 306, 336. 

Kapiltsvara and Vijayanagar, 
460 ff. 

KZrTl{ar Karpakam, (The wish- 
giving tree among the KfrS)ar), 
Tirumangai Xivar, described as, 

Karikala and IJam Tiraiyan, dates 
of, 27, 28, 48, 49, 51; brought 
To$4 aim an4alain under Ch^a 
authority, 201. 

Karikala Ch5J[a, founder of the line 
of the Telugu Choias, 313. 



Karunttaradasa, 440. 

K attain*!, a YSdavarSya ruler, 321. 

Kanaka, (KSpperunjinga) 335. 

KSttfLr Kiflir, father of poet Kannan 
11, 19. 

Kaveri, 179. 

Kavirippumpattinam, 25, 27, 49, 
98, 195. 

Kavundi Aijigal, 98. 

KSsava SSmayaji of Sriperumbudtir, ' 
father of RSmSnuja, 261. 

Ketayya Dantfanayaka, a son of 
Madhava DanflanSyaka, 354, 
355, 358 ; Prime Minister of Nara- 
simha III, 401, 416. 

Khusru, 406. 

KilJi Valavan, identifiable with 
Ne4V-Mu4i Killi, 24. 

K5dai, a name of Xn^aJ, 161. 

Ko^inambi Anga^i, 241. 

Ko^ungalur (Cranganore) 236. 

A'Mt KHvi, 443. 

K51i (Uraiyttr) 167, 182. 

Kolli (Quilon), 167 ; Kolli Kavali- 

dasa, 327, 446. 
KoUipakka, lord of, 318. 

Kongapalli, conquered by KapilSs- ' 
vara, 460. 

Kon^avidu, 464; conquered by 
KapiW ivara, 460. 

K^p3rthiv5ndravarman, a designa- 
tion of the ChBla Prince Xditya II, 
Karikala, 231-32* , 

K8-Perunjinga, (also written Kop- 
perunjinga), a Pallava chieftain, 
335, 395, 396, 398 ; contribution 
of, to the decline of the Cho^a 
authority, 315. 

KS-Sengan, the Ch31a King, 181. 
, organisation of, 201-2. 

r, 113. 

KSval (TirukkCvaltlr), 70. 
K5valan, story of, 98r-9. 
KSvalflr, 63. 

KSvijaya Nandivikramavarman, 

TantfantBftajn Plates of 21920. 
ADvil Olug*, 417, 462. 
Krishna, 169, 386. 
Krishna^ an avatar, 154. 

Krishna Vishnu, an aspect of the 
God at Tinipati, 191, 192, 193, 
194, 195, 249 ; worship of 198 ft'. 

Kubja Vishnuvardhana, an Eastern 
ChSJukya ruler, 245. 

KQ(Jal f (Madura), 161, 167, 182; 
Pallava family of, 317. 

Ku4andai, 76, 79, 93. 
Kufrmtikkil, 70. 

KulalSkhara XlvSr, 156, 327, 446 ; 
account of, 16670. 

Kula&khara Perumaj, 166. 
Kul5ttunga, 318, 386; death of 255. 

KulSttunga I, a contemporary of 
RamSnuja, 274, 280 ; invitation of, 
to Raman uja, 385 ; his punish- 
ment of KtirattSlvSn, 274-75; 
wars with Chalukya VikramadeVa 
VI, 316. 

Kul^ttunga II, 314, 320 ; the son and 
successor of Vikrama-ChSla, 284, 
286; accession of, 287; Gha^i- 
dva, his feudatory, 285. 

Kul5ttunga HI, 312, 314, 320, 321, 
322, 323, 328, 329. 396 ; GhaftideVa 
a feudatory of, 312 ; feudatories 
of, become independent 256-57. 

Wars of, with the P5n<}y as and 
Ceylon, 323. 

KulSttunga Ch51a, inscriptions of, 
at Tirupati and account of, 

Kuftttunga Cho> II, 315, 316, 317. 

KulSttunga Ch5jad8va, Tribhuvana- 
Chakravartiga}, 342, 343, 344, 

Kultttvnga CMlan UI*> VS*. 

KulSttungas^la YSdavarSya, a 
title of GhaftidEva, 284. 

Kumlra (Subrahnanya), 191, 192, 



KumSra Kampana, (UtfaiySr) 393, 
3% 425, 426, 449 ; and the image 
at jJrlrangam, 420, 421; Viceroy 
of Mu)b?gal, 422 ; campaigns of, 

Kumaran, a name of BSlasubrah* 
manya, 116. 

KumlraTirumalai Nambi, an adopt- 
ed son of Tirumalai Nambi, 304. 

KumSra Vishnu I alias KSlabhartr, 


Kumar a Vishnu II, 213. 
Kumbhak5nam,_125, 188, 258. 

KundSni, a capital of the HoysSlas, 

Kuntajas, (the Western ChSJukyas), 

Kftram plates of Par ante's vara- 
v arm a a I, 220. 

Kfiratta^van, a disciple of Rama- 
nuja, 385 ; punishment of, 274-75. 

JCufum-togai t 20. 
Kurunilamannar^ 23, 203. 

LSkSchSrya, 418. 

Lasamalikam Chennappa U<jaiyur, 

Lower Tirupati, 440, 441, 442, 443, 
446, 447. 


MSdappan Sing ana NSyaka, 368. 
MSdhava 1 (Ganga), 213. 
Madhava Dan4anayaka, a son of 

Perumala Dan4anayaka, 354, 413 ; 

Prime Minister of Narasimha III, 

MSdhavadSsa, same as Mall anna, 

432, 433. 
MIdhavi, 98. 
Madura* KUnji, 437. 

MadhurSntaka Pottappi, Tiruk- 
kalattid^va, 328. 

Madhnra Kavi, 146, 170; a direct 
disciple of NammlivSr, 259. 

MadhurSntaki, daughter of RljSndra 
Ch5|a, married to the Eastern 
ChSlukya Ra>raja, 244-45. 

Madura, 195, 196, 333, 362, 392, 405, 
413, 415; Muhammadan Sultan- 
ate of, 407 ff. 

MahSbali, 78. 

Mah^nSyaka Eframanchi Periya 
Pammanayaka, 371. 

Maharaja ^ri Vira R^ndra ChSta, 

MaharSjavI4i Seven Thousand, 224. 
MahSndrapura, 219. 

MahSfldravarman, 214 ; Vichitra- 
chitta, a name of, 219 ; statue of, 
in the Varaha cave at MahSbali- 
puram, 208. 

MahSndravarman I, 214. 
MahSndravarman II, 214. 

MalagangayyadeVa Maharaja, had 
Sajuva titles, 442. 

Malainacju, 236. 

Malay amans (round TirukkoyiltXr), 

Malik Kafur, 361, 362, 363. 

Mallanna, same as Madhavadasa, 

MallSn4aiyar, 433. 

Mallik Kafur, and the southern 
kingdoms, 403 ff. 

Mallikarjuna De*varaya, records of, 
at Tirupati, 441 ff, 458, 460, 461, 
463, 464, 465. 

Mamalli, (MahSbalipuram), 69-70. 

MamVlan3r, 133, 185, 377, 379 ; des- 
cription of VSnga4&m (Tirupati), 
by, 11, 14, 17; mention of the 
celebration of festivals by, 205. 

MamBlar, 18, 19, 20, 30. 
i Man4agapattu, 219. 
MSng^u, 186. 
Mangi, same as MangidSva, 455, 456. 

MangidSva, 456, 457 ; a general 
. under Kumlra Kampana, 454. 

MangidSva MahSrlja, 425. 



Manimlkhalai, 24, 26, 49, 198. 
Marai, 135. 

Mfaavarman Kula&khara, PSg4ya, 
the last great Paqflya, 358-59, 
361 ; of Madura, and the Hoyialas, 
399 ff; his son, Vira PSrtfya, 402, 

MSrsLvarman Sundara FSn4ya I, and 
the Cholas, 329-30. 

Maravannan Sundara PSn^ya 11, and 
the Cho"las, 329-30 ; succeeded by 
Jajavarman Sundara PSn^ya I, 

MarkaitfSya, 110. 
MS-iattu-vanigan, 98. 
MSyan, 118. 
MaySn, 191. 

Snluva, a SWuva title, 426, 442 ; 
taken by Errakampayadeva 
Maharaja, 440. 

MelkSja, 419. 

MSlkottai, foundation of the temple 
at, 272, 275-77. 

Mubarak 303; and the southern 
kingdom, 406. 

Muddaya Nayaka, father of Tep- 
pada Nagayya Nayaka, 439. 

Mu4ikon<Jasol.apuram same ' as 
Jayamkon4asol.apurain, 359. 

Muhammad-bin Tughlah, 367; and 
the southern kingdoms, 406 flT; 
and the Snrangam image, 417 fT. 

Muhammad Shah, the Bahmani 
ruler, 394. 

Muhammad Shah 111, 465, 466. 

Mullai TiruvSnga4a, Jiyar, 428, 
429, 430. 

Mukkantf K^uve^i, founder of the 
dynasty of the Telugu ChSlas, 

Munayadarayan, a Ch31a official 
title, 244. 

Muruga (SSySn) 191. 

MCv^ndav^Sn, an official title 
under the Cho>8,'240. 


Nacchinarkiniyar, 204-5. 

NUcciylr TiiumoU of Xn45], fea- 
tures of, 161-66, 292. 

NSdamuni, XchSrya, 257, 260, 385 ; 
visit of, to Tirupati, 269 ; one of 
the assistants of Sajagopa yati to 
be representative of, 308. 

Nadan Kovil (Nandipura Vinnaga- 
ram), 181. 

NSgapattinam, 49 ; identification 
of, 204-5. 

N5ga Princess, mother of Ton^a- 
mSn of V5figa<Jam, 204, 376. 

NSgas, 25. 

Nakkirar, son of KanakkayanSr, 11 ; 
an author referring to Tirupati, 
9, 10, 19, 30, 192, 194, 377, 379. 

Nallamalais, hills, compared to a 
cobra, 2-3. 

1 Nammalvar, 87, !33, 156, 157, 165, 
166, 168, 171, 258, 259, 260, 308, 
336, 379, 443 ; his devotee gafa- 
gopadasa, 327 ; his position 
among the Xjviirs, 134, 155. 

Nandipottarayar, obviously Nandi- 
varman 111, victor at TeUSru, 221. 

Nandipura Vinnagaram, 161. 
Nandivarman I, 213. 

Nandivarman II, 181; father of 
Dantivarman, 221 ; won battles 
against the Pangyas, 215. 

Nandivarman Pallava, 176, 177 ; 
marriage alliance of, with the 
Rashtrakflfas, 226 ; built a tem- 
ple at Conjeevaram, 209. 

Nandivarman II Pallavamalla, 189 ; 
constructed the Vaikunftia Peru- 
jnH\ temple, 219; inscription of, 
in the temple of XdivarSha at 
Mahabalipuram, 219. 

1 Nandivarman III (Nandivarman of 
TeUaru), 186, 187. 

' Nandivarman same as Nandi- 
p5ttarayar, 221. 

Nandivarman of TellS/u, a patron 
of PerundevanSr, 209. 



Ntndivafmtn 111 *. dankkl, 215. 
NIngai (TirunVngflr), 179. 
Nfagttr, 179, 180. 

NUnmukhan TiruvandAdiW, 102 , 
106,109ft, 110 if, 111*, 112*, 
114 *, 119 M, 120. 

Nlragadfcva, a feudatory of Vtra 
rSjfndra, 318. 

Narasa, son of livara, 466. 

Narasimha, son of Guntfa, same as 
SSJuva Narasimha, 457. 

Narasimha HoyfSla, 360. 

Narasimha II, HoylSla ruler, help 
of, to R3)arlja HI, 330-31; Hoy 
fflas and the Cho>s, 395 ff. 

Narasimha III, HoylSla, 354, 897, 
401; ruled from Halabid and 
BOTr, 399. 

Narasimhavarman I, 214; beauti- 
fied MahSbalipuram, 208-09. 

Narasimhavarman II, 214. 

NSrSyanachaturve'dimangalam, 348- 

NMyana Perumal, 440. 

NlrSyana Pillai, who fell in the 

battle of Uratti, 328. 
NWyanapuram, 339. 

NlrSyanavaram, 43, 203, 282, 376, 
419, 422, 462; capital of the 
YSdavariya, 266, 

NatarSja, 293. 

NayanSr Pillai V!ra Narasinga, 348. 

Ne4um3ram of Ten*K^4al, 161. 

Ne4u-Mu4i-Ki]U, same as KiUi 
Valavan, 24. 

Nell ore, called Vikramasimhapura, 

MtyatZri, 145. 
Nir-Pey*rt*i 27. 
Nrpatunga, 215. 
Njrpafangavarman, 209, 221. 
Nttl Kafal, 93. 

59am, 114. 

Op* V*lavu, 22, 44. 

Onore (Honovar) 467. 

Orissa and Vijayanagar, 460 ff. 

PadmlvatI, marriage of, with 
Venkaffla, 42, 296; Goddess, 300. 

PaJa-VtrkSdu, modern Pull cat, 20. 
Pallava family of Ktt^al, 317. 

Pallavas of Kfnchi, 222, 223, 225, 
313; coming into existence of, 

Pallavas, the, the early history of, 
204 ff; genealogy, of, 21&-15 ; 
the great, 188 ff ; inscriptions of 
the, at Tirupati, 229 ; struggle of, 
with the ChSlutcyas and the 
P5nflyas, 224, 226-29 ; power of 
the, overthrown by VijaySlaya, 

Pallavamalla, Nandivarman II, 189. 

Pankayackclvi a flower garden, 

Paradavar, 16. 

ParamSsvara PStavarman I, 214. 

Parame"svaravannan I, KQram 
plates of, 220. 

ParamCsvara Potavarman II, 214. 
Parantaka I, account of, 235-36. 

ParSntaka H, 235, 346 ; married a 
Ch3ra princess, 236. 

ParSntakadeVi Amman, the Queen 

of Patfntaka, 240. 
ParSntaka Sundara ChSJa, father of 

Rljaraja I, 240. 

Paras DeVS DSlvi (ParasurSm Dv 
Dalavoy). 403. 

ParSlara, 237, 238, 

ParalurSm DSv, DalavSy, a general 
of th* YSdavas, 361, 403. 

Pariptyal, 198, 198 , 199. 
Parvataraja, a son 



i, 27, 901 
> 23, 
Pavftttiri, 204. 

Pavittiri, Retfcjipalem in the 
GttflBr taluk, 10, 16, 17, 20, 29, 45, 

PSngiyataraiyar, father-in-law of 
VIra Narasinga, 348. 

P5n4yas, the, and the ChSJas, 328 fT; 
and the Pallavas, 214-17 ; power- 
ful during the days of the YSda- 
varSyas, 358-59; struggle of, 
with the Pallavas, 226, 227; 
dynasty of, revival of the power 
of, 211 ; succession, of the, war 
of, 320 ; change in, 359. 

Pamjyataraiyan, father-in-law of 
VIra NarasingadeVa YSdavartya, 
324, 325, 326. 

PSpanSla, 445. 

PSrthasIrathi, shrine of, 446. 
PSrthasSrathisva'mi, shrine of, 430. 

PSrthivSndravarman, the son of 
Parantaka II, 236. 

Penukonija, 424. 

Periya XlvSr, 156, 157, 158, 161, 

166, 166, 168, 309, 383. 
Pet iya 3fv3r Tirumott, 160, 161 , 

165 n, 166. 
Periya Tirumajat, 171, 183. 

Periya Tirumoi, 137 *, 166, 167 *, 
171-184; recited by Tirumalai 
Nambi, 303. 

Periya Tiruvandlldi, a work of 
Nammajvar, 138, 143, 143 n. 

Perumakan, a prince, 10. 

Periyamallade'va, 440. 

Perum*l Tirumoli, 166, 167 n. 

Perumftla DaitfanSyaka, Prime 
Minister of Narasimha II, 401; 
a distinguished officer under 
Narasimha III, 354, 355. 

Perumakan, 5. 

Peruman, a title of dignity, 5. 

the Jand of the 
s, 222, 242. 

i, 23, 24, 25 n, 
26, 47/49, 50,l*fi, 377. 
Perum-Pnp t 27. 

Pt rum-far am, a title of high rank, 

Perundaram, a Tamil title, 232. 

PerundSvan, the author of the 
Bharatam in vtnba verse, 8. 

PerundSvanlr, 186 ; who wrote the 
Bharata in Tamil, 8; patronised 
by Nandivarman of Telpru, 209. 

Peruvajanallttr, battle of, won by 
Parame"svara P5tavarman, 214. 

Plrgajai, same as Plrgga$ai> a 
title of high rank, 426. 

Plrgafai, a Kannada title, 232; 
same as PSkkatJti, 426. 

P8y Xjv3r, 53, 100, 108, 116, 134, 
177 ; account of, 75, 81. 

PillaiySr YBdavarSyar, same as 
Vira NarasingadSva YSdavartya, 

Pinbajagiya Jlyar, 278. 
Porul AdhikZram, 191, 191 n. 

Pottappi ChSJas, same as the 
Telupu ChSlas, 313, 318. 

Poygai Xjvar, (Poygaiyar) 28, 31, 
32, 34, 53, 56, 86, 90, 100, 116, 136, 
149, 177; account of, 56-68; 
devoted to Tirupati as a Vishnu 
shrine, 71, 72. 

Prabandha, 443 ; arrangements for 
the recital of, 308-9. 

Prabandha works, Tiruppivai, a 
portion of the, 429. 

Prabandha, Four Thousand, 52, 56, 
136, 166. 

Pulicat, same as PalavSrka'tfu, 20. 
Pulikelin, 224. 

Pulli, 29-30; a chieftain of the 
region round V8nga<}am, 9, 10; 
account of. by Mamftlanar, 11, 13, 
16 ; conquest of the land of the 
Majavar by, 18 ; change of terri- 
tory from the hands of, 19 , 20. 

Punganflr, 418. 



Quilon (Kolli), 167. 

Pidnkkottai, State, 398, 414, 418. RImanltha, Hoylfla, 360. 

RImlnuja, 133, 370, 373, 381, 382, 
436, 437, 443 ; a son of Anan- 
tlrya, 305. 

RSmanuja 260, 261, 262; a nephew 
of Tirumalai Nambi, 304; 
studied the RHm&yana under 
Tirumalai Nambi, 264-65, 270, 
278, invited, by YSdavIrya, 
came to Tirupati, decided that 
the temple at the place was a 
Vishnu one, 288, 290; got 
installed the image ofGoVinda- 
raja of Chidambaram at Lower 
Tirupati, 265-67, 280-82; later 
visits of, to Tirupati and organi- 
sation of worship at, by, 267-68 ; 
contemporaneous with Ghafti- 
dSva YadavarSya, 282-86 ; be- 
taking of, to Mysore, 270; 
and Viftaladevara'ya, Viihnu- 
deVa, BiflidSva or (Vishnu- 
vardhana), 271-72, 275-77 ; Ch5Ja 
contemporary of, 273-75 ; period 
of the exile of, from Srirangam, 
277-79; organisation of worship 
at Tirupati by, 220-92 ; building 
of the GoVindaraja temple at 
Lower Tirupati by, 292-94; 
restoration of two wells at Tiru* 
pati by, for the temple water 
supply, 294-95; attention of, to 
the n&ga jewel, 295-96; provi- 
sion of a Narasimha shrine within 
the temple by, 296-98 ; order of, 
relating to Anantarya, 300; 
study of the Rlm&yana under 
Tirumalai Nambi, and institution 
of the foot-prints of God under 
the tamarined tree, 300-301; ar- 
range nent by, for the worship of 
Rama and VarSha, 300-01; insti- 
tution of a festival by, in 
memory of Tirumalai Nambi, 
302-4 ; regulations of, as to resi- 
dence at Tirupati, 305-306, ap- 
pointed a Bachelor-Superinten- 
dent to be in charge of the tem- 
ple, 306-07; final arrangements 
of, at Tirupati, 307-11 ; organi- 
sation of the temple of Tirupati 
by, 449-50; and Tirupati, 382, 
384, ff; caused the cJonitnwtion 

Rlchayya DanflanSyaka, 351, 365. 
RSjSdhiraja, 320. 
RSja-dhirSja II, 314. 
Rajahmundry, 465, 466. 

Rajamalla YSdavaraya, son of 
GhattidSva YSdavaraya, 285, 321. 

Rajanatha Din<}ima, the court poet 
of Sajuva Narasimha, 456. 

RSjarSja, 190; policy of, 251-2; 
feudatories of, become indepen- 
dent, 256-7. 

Rajaraja I, son of Parantaka Sun- 
dara Chola, 240, 325; inscriptions 
of, at Tirupati, 239-41, 

Rajaraja II, 314, 317, 320. 

Raja-raja III, 312, 314, 315, 321, 322, 
324, 325, 327, 343, 344, 345, 346, 
395, 396 ; and the decline of the 
ChSla power, 328 ff. 

KZjartjan #73, 178 . 

RSjasSkhara, a poet and critic of 
the tenth century, 437. 

RajSndra, beginning of a title, 249 ; 
the Gangaikontfa Chola, 253, 254. 

RSjSndra III, 314, 327, 331. 

RajSndra ChSla, inscriptions of, at 
Tirupati, 242-44. 

RSjBndra Cho^a Brahma MarSyan, 
a title of the lord of K^fir, 244. 

RSje'ndracho > (so l )lama^alam, 247, 

RSJSndra KulBttunga, 247. 

Rama, an Avatar, 154, 158, 160, 169; 
arrangement for the worship of, 
by RSmanuja, 301-2; image of, 
given to the Bachelor Superin- 
tendent, 307. 

dyatn t 456. 



of the temple of G5vin4f tfja at 
Tirupati, 326; image of, set up by 
Anaafttya, 900-09; organised 
the recital of the TintppHvai of 
Jtyjal, 389-40; help given to, by 
Ghaflideva 330-21; last date of, 

fandZdi (the centum 
on RamSnuja), 308. 

Ramanu jadlsa, 441, 445. 
RSmSnujapura, formed by YWava- 

Ramdtv, 406. 

RSmesvaram, 362, 392, 397, 405. 
RanganStha of Srtrangam, 167, 170. 

RSshtraktitas, the rise and expan- 
sion of, the 223-25; marriage 
alliance of, with Nandivarman 
Pallavamalla, 226. 

fcavivarman Kulas&hara, 363, 373. 
Re<Hipalem, 10, 20, 45, 204. 
RShini w of Hiranyavarman, 215. 

Rudran Kaanan of Kajiyaltlr, 23, 
27, 48, 133, 379. 





Govinda, 438. 
aktivi4angan, tame 

vitankan, 232. 

$31ukkit, a feudatory dynasty 

under the Cho^as, 318. 
Sftuva, a brother of SSluya Nara- 

simha, 457. 

SSJuvaMyudayat*, a work of 
Ra^anatha Din(}im, 406. 

G^a, same as Gun<}a, 464. 

Mangn, 393, 394, 422, 425, 

va Narasimha, a son of Guria, 
> 457, 4(61^ rise of, to power, 
ff ; ajh<f kh* Orissa^ invasion, 
" ; during tye Uiae of Virt- 

SSJuva Narasinga, see 9l|iirA 

Narasimha, 453. 
SSlavas, the origin and early 

history of, 453 ff. 
Samadkigata PanehamahMabda, 

an Eastern Chalukya title, 245. 

Samavvai, wife of a Katfava (Pal- 
lava) chief named Saktivijankan, 

Sambukula Chakravarti Tiru- 
MallinMar SambuvarSya Peru- 
mal, 427. 

SambuvarSyant (in the PSISr basin) 

SambuvarSyans, rule of, 427. 
Sambuvaraya, defeat and reesta* 

blisbment of, 454. 
Samudragupta, inscription of, 212. 

dan gam age, the bhakti school of 
Vishnu in full view in, 196 ff. 

dangam literature, 7, 8. 
Sankara, 103. 

3ankha, dau. of Rashtraktita 
Amo'ghavars.ha I, m. Nandi- 
varman III, 214. 

San tap pa NSgappanua, 431. 
^aiikula Chajukki Sangramarama, 
a Yadavaraya, 370. 

asikula Chajukya, ancestor of the 
Yadavarayas, 318. 

, a devotee of Nam- 
, 327. 

SafagSpa ? a **> placed in charge of 
the temple, 308. 

gatakopa, 170. 

dafakopayati, title of the head 
Sanytsin, in the Tirupati temple, 

SSyanna, 431. 

^SdirSyans, same as the Malaya- 
.mans, 317. 

gelvan, 160. 

^emkan, the Gho> king, 57. 

^Bndamangalam, capital of the 
330^ 335. 



gen)i (Ginji), 317. 
Senjiyar, 317. 
gSshachalam, 1, 3, 38. 
fcyon (Mnruga) 191. 
Shiyali, 172, 178. 
Sibi, 24. 

SilappadtikMram, 24, 185, 186, 195, 
195*, 196, 380 ; continuation by, 
of the account of the Xlvars, 

Simhavarman, grant of, 218. 
Simhavarman I, 213. 

Simhavarman II, 212, 213, 214, 215, 

Simhavishnu 216, i 226 ; statue of, 
at MahSbalipuram, 208; or 
4 Avanisimha PSttaraja ' 214. 

ginga, see ginga Pillai, 343. 

gingadeva, otaw VillavarSyan, 338. 

gingana Dantjanayaka, same as 
Singayya DaitfanSyaka, Minister 
of BalPia III, 355, 364, 368, 394, 
401, 416. 

gingayya Dan<Jan5yaka, 364, 365, 
366: institution of festivals by, 
351, 352; a HoysSla officer, son of 
Madhava DanganSyaka, an 
account of, 353 flf. 

gingayyadtva, 365. 

Si n gay y a Nayaka, same as gin- 
gayya Da^an&yaka, 364. 

gingana Nayaka, same as gingayya 
DaManSyaka, 364; an officer of 
Saliva HI, 394, 395, 413, 420; and 
Rangacatha YSdavaraya, 368 if. 

ginga PilJai, ton of TirukkQatti- 
dfva same as VfrarSkshasa 
Yldavarlya, 343. 

gingavflkun/am, (AhBbalaxn), 173. 

giriyapilJai, a ton of TirukkSlatti- 

dva YVdavarlya, 321. 
Siriya Tirumadat, 171, 183. 
&ir4*nattH Ptrumafan, 243. 

girumallaiyadHva, ton of Mala- 
gangayyadlva MahajSja, 44^ 

, 948. 
gj/m PI|, 27. 

Sitagaragaf 4*Q the name of * food 
service instituted in the nam of 
gingayya Da^anayaka, 353. 

gittakkatlai, 435, 436, 444, 445, 450. 

givaskandavarman, 213. 

giyyapuram, the modern glvaram 

near Conjeevaram, 221. 
Skandasishya (Vijaya Skandavar- 

man IV) 213. 

Skanda-Subrahmanya, 152. 
Skandavarman or ChH^u Pallava, 


1 Skandavarman, Maharaja, tk 
father of Vishnug5pa, 219. 

Skandavarman II, 213. 

Skandavarman V alias Cha&4a- 
danja, 213. 

j Stta Brahma MZraya*, a title, 247. 

S5me*svara, Chajukya emperor, 
father of VikramSditya, 254. 

S5mCsvara, and the ChSlas, 396, 

South India, course of the history 
of to A.D. 800, 209 ff ; political 
condition of, and the Muhamma- 
dan invasions, 359 ff. 

grigiri, Prince, son of Bissanna 
DSvaraya, 432. 

&r\-knryam % 231. 
grlNSyanar Y5davarSya,*371. 
grlnivSsa, 39, 42, 51, 115. 

grinivSsa, God, miraclem of, to 
Anantarya, 298-300; foot-prints 
of, under the tamarind tree, 300- 
301 ; temple of, 302. 

grfnivasapuram, a name of gittak- 
kuUai, 436, 445. 

grlnivlsapatt^ri, 447. 

I SrTperumbttdSr, birth place of 
RSmSnuja, 261, 264. 

gr! Rama Vinnagar, 178. 

gr! RSjSndradfva (RBjndra KulSt- 
tunga), 247. 


grfrangam, 98, 100, 118, 126, 156, 
159, 168, 166, 170, 171, 180, 186, 
197, 257, 262, 265, 266, 270, 271, Tagaflr, 28. 

ftt 8' 282* Sff* I& m H?' I 
280, 291, 282, 200, 308, 309, 331, 

362, 384, 385, 389, 392, 397, 398, 
405, 420, 421, 425, 454, 462; dealt 
with by PeruiM Tirumoli, 166- 
67 ; and Muhammad Tughlak, 

417 ff - 

TalaiyllangSnam, battle of, 8, 9, 
30 31 45 
* d1 ' 4 * 

SriranganStha YSdavartya, succes- 

gmangapatam, 466. , 

gmangarfja, reciter of the /V*- 
bandha at Srfrangam, 308-309. 

&r\rangarnjd' Vigtapti Klrya, the 
reciter of the Tiruv&ymoli, 309. 

Srwailam, 3. 

grlsailam plates of Virftpiksha, 

m 453 . ' 

Sri Saila Vigtapti Klrya, (the 

official to make petitions to the 

God on the hill) 309. 

Sri VarShanSyanSr, shrine of, at 
Tirupati, 428. , 

6 - r^ I z , z , r -z ,/ onn 
Sri Vlnkaflchala fttA8sam8fa t 290, 

340, 389, 436; 290; critical review 

of the account of, 309-11. 
, _ . 

Sri Vira KumSra Kampala ttyai- 

y5r, 426. 

Srivilliputtflr, 159, 161. 
Subrahmagya, 92. 
Subralnna,ya (Ham Kumaran), 67. 
Subrahma^ya (KnmSra) 191, 193. 

Subrahma^ya Sattri, SSdhu, 356, 

jStS^kotfuttSl, a name of Xn^Sl, 161. 
Sundara Ch51a. 232. 

c ^ , ^ *A *** 

Sundara PSitfya, 350, 356. 

, ~\ , M 
Sundara P5,4ya 1, 328. 

Srtmi P*shkara$i 9 297, 302, 306, 

Swaminatha Ayyar, M. M. Dr., 2JL 

Tamil, boundary of the provenance 
of, 2, 4, 5; gods, early, 191-94; 
land, division of, 19L 

Taftjai (Tanjore), 69, 372. 

Tanjore, YSdavarSyat in, 372; burnt 
b ^ M5 rftvarman Sundara PStfya, 

n K a poet| refcrg to 

VSngaiTin as belonging to Ton- 


Telugu CWla, a chief of the line of, 

Telugu ChSlas or Pottappi Chdlat, 
313, 319 ; Tirukkalattidevan, one 
among the, 342; and Ton^amairfa- 
lam, 222 ff; and Tirupati, 455. 

Telugu Pallavas, the, 313, 336, 337. 
_ , _ _, . _ _. 

Telugu Pallavas, the, and Tirupati, 

Temple, organisation of, as reveal- 
ed in the Pallava inscriptions, 
229-34; management of, and or- 
ganisation of worship in, 263-64. 

Tennan, 179. 

Ten-KThJal, a name of Madura, 1, 61* 
son of. 

T eruka 9 5mbi, 418, 420. 

Timma, a son of Gun4a, 456; same 
as Tirumalaid5va,457. 

TinnanVr, 428. 

Tippa, a son of Gunda, married a 
1, 457. 

> same a TripurSntaka, 457. 

.^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ; ^^ 

from llam Tiraiyan of the San- 
gam literature, 17 

Tiraiyani, account of the, 204. 



Tintninravfir, same as Tinnanttr, 

Tiru AnandllvVr, 440. 
Tiru-Arangam, 79. 
Tirucchanda Viruttam, 136 

Tirucchanflr, 69, 202, 230, 237, 241, 
249, 250, 251, 324, 333, 349 ; dona- 
tions to the temple at, by the 
ChSJa officers, 386 ; inscriptions 
of Parantaka I and II at, 235, 236 ; 
tabh* of, 236, 441. 

TiruccMShinflr, 221, 230, 231, 233, 

Tiruchukanflr, 237, 242/243. 
Tiru-evvolBr, 175. 
TirugnSnasambandar, 179. 

Tiru IJankSvil (VSngaiam) 229 ; the 
Vaishnava temple at Tiruccha- 
nflr, 333. 

TirukkSlattideVa(nV (VillavarSya ?) 
338; father of gin^a PiUai, 343; 
a Telugu ChTJla ruler, 321. 

TirukkalattideVa YSdavarSya, 321, 

Tiru Kalikatyidasa, father of 
AlagappiranSr, 434; the first 
(Ofudativftr) among the Sri 
Vaishnavas in Tirupati, 436, 439 

TirukkBUiyBr, 69, 74, 91, 158, 159, 
160, 418. 

TirukkoValttr, 90. 

TirukkoVilQr, 54, 61, 62, 64, 182, 

Tirukkurum TTbufakam, 171. 
Tirumalai, 79, 352. 
TlrumalaideVa, a son of G5pa, 457. 

Tirumalai Nambi, uncle of RSma'- 
nuja, 261, 262, 264, 265, 267, 268, 
270. 278, 280 294, 295, 300, 301, 
302, 306 ; 307, 308, 309 ; 381, 386, 
festival 388 ; in memory of, 302, 

TirumSl Irum SSlai, 69, 70, 91, 92, 
100, 158, 159, 161, 164, 174, 186, 
197, 198, 418. 

Tinimalilai Xjv^r, 22, 31fT, 44, 53, 
100, 134, 136, 137 ; his life and 
times, 101-133. 

Tirumangai Xj.var. 53, 135, 136, 137, 
156, 171-184, 229, 327, 365, 428; 
arrangement of, at Srlrangam, 
257 ; author of the Periya Tiru- 
moli, 303; of the Prabandha, 
304 ; food service for, 353. 

TirumaruhanSr Ktnikkai, 351. 

Tirumolf of Namm^lvSr, 308, 
of Periyajvar, 309; character 
of the, 158-161. 

TirumukkTl4al, 221. 
Tirumu^Jiyam, 243, 244. 
Tirunangftr, 179. 
TirunSraiyttr, 187. 
TirunfrSyanapuram, 270. 
Ttrunejum TUnjakam, 171. 
Tiruni.\raiyHru4aiyan, 447. 

Tiruniftravttr U4aiy3n, temple 
accountant, 428, 429. 

TirunTrmalai, 69, 91. 

Tiru-Pal5dh!svaram, a corrupt form 
of Tirn-ParasarSsvaram, 237. 

TiruppSn Xlvar, (Y5giv5ha) 156, 

TirupparSlar^svaram, 238, 249, 250; 

corrupted into Tiru-Pal3dhTsva 

ram, 237. 
TiruppZvai of XndXl, 429, 450; 

chant organised* by RSmSnuja, 


Tiruppulla^id^sa, 349; undertook 
the rebuilding of the temple, 

Tirupati, 31, 34, 51, 52, 64, 65, 66, 
67, 68, 86, 87, 90, 91, 92, 95, 96, 
98, 100, 115, 116, 117, 132, 146, 
147, 151, 157, 160, 168, 170, 171, 
173, 176, 184, 185, 186, 187, 196, 
197, 230, 259, 260, 262, 417, 418, 
419, 420, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 

1 431, 432, 435, 436, 440, 442, 444, 
446, 447; known as VSngaflam, 9; 
known as Wnka|anlthapura, 245, 

| 946, 249; general geographical 



features of, 1*4; fauna of, 3-6; 
languages to the north and south 
of, 5-7; not referred to as a holy 
shrine as it is, 13-U; ParSnic 
origin of, 34 ff; foundation of, by 
Tofjamln Chakravarti, 205-206, 
375 ff; temple at, patronised by 
ToBdamSn Chakravarti, 283; in 
the Prtbandka 4000, 56, 58 If; 
Vaishnava character of the 
shrink at 376 ff; celebration of 
festivals in, 17-22; festivals in 
18-19, instituted by TondamSn, 
19 % 21, 22; and the early Xlvars, 
52 ff; references to,' In Xn^al's 
work, 163; in the age of the 
Xchiryas, 381 ff; references to, by 
Nammajvar, 139, 143; reference 
to, by PerumSl Tirumoji, 168; 
Siva-Vishnu combination, a fea- 
ture of Vishnu at, 87-89; absence 
of inscriptions at, 207-08; in 
obscurity during the period of 
the Pallava ascendency, 216 ff; 
pap in our knowledge of the 
history of, 312-13; and the 
Telngu Cho'las, 455; and the 
Telugu Pallavas, 455; first 
visit of RSmanuJa to, 264-65, 
270; second visit of Rajna> 
nnja to, installation , of the 
image of GSvindarSja at Lower 
Tirupati; dispute at, regarding 
the fact whether the shrine at 
the place was a Vishnu one or a 
Siva one, 265-67, 279-82; orga- 
nisation of worship at, by RSma*- 
nuja, 267-68; 286-311; and Ram*- 
nuja's second visit, 283-287; 
shrine of, and XchSrya RSmI* 
mija, 382 ff; organisation of 
worship at, by RamSnuja, 290 ff; 
temple of, under the management 
of the Vaishnava Community, 
390 if; and the YSdavarlyas, 
318 fi, 342 fF; and JajSvannan 
Sundara PSn<Jya, 333 ff; and the 
Ga$4ago'pSls, 337 , ff; , under 
Hoyiala authority, 362 ff; shrines 
at, suffered little by the Muham- 
madan incursions, 392, 404 ff; 
passing of, under 4he authority 
of Vljayanagar, , 42S ,ff; under 
Vijayanagar, 393 ff, 422 ff; nfst 

century of Vijayamagaf rul* In, 
448 ff; and the Sa^uvas, 453 ff; 
associated with the S^uvi^s, 
461 (T; visited by Vlra Naraiimha, 
the Gajapati, 295-96. 
TiruttXyZr K*mkkai } 35L 

Tiruvallam, capital of the Sambuva- 

rVyas, 427. 
Tiruvallike^i (Triplicane) 76, 175. 

TiruvalJttr (Tiru-evvulttr) 175. 

Tiruvanantapuram (Trivandrum) 

Tiruvanttdi, 31, 136, 140; of 
Poygai 3ftvar, 149. 

Tiruvannamalai, 364, 367, 421; 
made the headquarters of Vlra 
BaU*1a III, 412, 413. 

TirHv&Hriyai*> a work of Nam- 
r, 138, 140. 

, 142, 143, 144, 146 if, 
147 n, 160, 443. 

Tiruv&ymoli of Nammllvtr, 135, 
137, 138, 139, 140, 258, 860. 

TiruvHymol* thousand, 145. 

TiruvSyppSfli, cowherd village on 
the hill, 249. 

Tiruvayppa^i Tirumalai XjvSr, 
God on the hill referred to by 
that name, 249, 386. 

TiruveHarai, inscription, of Danti- 
v arm an, 220. 

Tiruvelukn^rirukkai, 171. 
TiruvSnga^ad&va, 240. 

TiruvSngagakkd'ttam, an early 
division under a TondamSn chief 
202, 205, 221, 230, 235, 242, 254, 

Tirav*nga4am. 63,90, 176, 180, 202, 
231, 233, 342 ; God of, 345 ; not 
mentioned in the early Pallava 
records, 221* 

TiruvgngadamudaiySn, God, of the 
hill, 240, 327, 336, 340, 342, 351, 
368, 371, 434, 450. 

Tiruvtngaga&a'tha YSdava, 370. * 

Tiruvtngaganltha Yidavarly v 
account of, 332, 350, 


Tir*vfrultam t A work of Namina> 
v*r, 138, 140, 141, 144* , 

*m> 2, 4, 9 lo, 33, 136, 


To94a*yar, Ve*nga4asn formed part 
of the territories of, 16 ; change 
of territory into the handi of, 
from Pulli, 19. 

Ton4aiyarkon, the Pallavas known 

as, 175, 207. . 
TonflamSfl, 1% ; . institution of 

festivals at Tirupati by, 19 if; 
^southern, 175. I 

Too4atn?n^rrttr or Toij4am5npe"r- ' 

SjfBr, 217, 230 ; .the place where 
. d*tya died, 23$. 

TooflamSn Ckakravarti, 176, 180, 
295 ; the human founder of Tiro- 
pati, 375 ff; (legendary character) 
royal patronge of, to the Tirupati 
temple, 283 ; institution of fetti- 
vals at Tirupati by, 22. 

fon^amSn Ilam Tiraiyan, 107, 108, 
186, 377 ; an account of, 23, 29 ; 
and the early XivSrs, 30; and 
Too^amVn RSja of Tirupati, 45- 

Ton.fama'nperSrjflr, 230. 

Ton^amSn RSja of the Pura^as, f 
history :* of, 40-46 ; and Ton<Jam5n 
Ilam Tiraiyan, 46-51. 

TondamSns, early history of the, 
204 ff. i 

, early history of, 
ff; the debatable frontier 
between different powers, 222-23 ; 
brought under ChSJa authority, 

Toirfar Aftppofi, 170. 

Ton4*r A)i Pofi XivSr (BhaktSn- 
grirfnu), 156. 

Travancore. 168, 170. 

Trichlnopoly, 220. 

TrinCtra Pallava, taa at Mukkanti 

Triplioane, 175, 189, 990, 234, 
Trlpurlntaka, 339 ; a son of G5pa, 

f * 

Trittya Brahmatantrasrfmin, 276* 
Trivandmm, 186. 

Udayagiri, 424, 464; taken by, 
KapilEtvart, 460. 

UlahutfaiyapenimSJ, 440, 442. 

UraiytSr (K5ii) 98, 167, 170; burnt 
by Maravarman Sundara I5n<Jya, 

Uratti, battle of, 324325, 328. 
Uruvappalli, grant, 219. 
Uttaramallur, 220, 221. 
fftittyfyam, 231. 

Vaja Arasu, 179. 
Va<Jamalai, 18a 

VatJamamaUidSsar Alahar AppilJai 
TiruvanandSlvSr Periya Pemma] 

Vaa V^ngafam, 4. 

Va4ugas, (Ba^agas) 5, 6, 7. 

Va^ukar, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 
17, 19, 20. 

Va^ukar Perumakan, 5, 10, 15. 
Va4*kavaH, 6. 
Va4uku, 5 

VailhSnasa Agama, restoration of 
worship at Tirupati according to 
the, 265, 279, 283, 290-92. 

Vaikunfcha Perum7{ inscriptions, 

177, 219, 
VAiramtgha, Dantidnrga Vaira- 

mtgha? 177. 

Vairanilgha Pallava, 176. 
VallabhtchSrya, 144. 
Vaftal (Patron), 149. 

VaUalCd&va, same as BaJJaladfva, 

, a tax, 366, 
369., . 


Varadar5ja*vami, shrint of, 428. 
Varaguna II, 227. 

VlrSha, arrangement for the 
worship of, made by RamSnuja, 

Varuna (God of the Sea), 191. 
VasudSva, 198. 

VStSpi (BSdami) the capital of the 
Chalukya, 222-23. 

VehkS, the Vishnu shrine at Kanchi, 
27, 31, 32, 33, 50, 56, 61, 62, 63, 
76, 79, 80, 90, 104, 107, 134. 

Ve^Sn, hereditary writer of a 
division, 328. 

Vellore, 427. 

VSJukkaipaMi, 76, 79. 

VSngaflam, ( a name of Tirupati), 
9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, .29, 30, 31, 
48, 61, 63, 64, 65, 76, 77, 73, 79, 
80, 81, 83, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 
117, 121, 132, 160, 164, 171, 175, 
180, 181, 182, 183, 184 ; 187, 190, 
196, 199, 20*, 205, 209, 217, 232, 
359; (Tirupati) northern boundary 
of the Tamil country, 2, 4-7; 
belonged to Tiruvenga4akko^am, 
200} presiding deity of, Vishnu 
according to the Xlvars, 89-94: 
an undoubted Vaisnava centre 
of worship, 94-95 ; its, Vaishnava 
character maintained in literary 
tradition, 185-187 ; description 
of, in the gilappadhikaram, 96 flf; 
changed hands from Pnlli to 
Ton^aman, 45 ; reference to, by 
Bhtitattu Xlvffr, 69, 70; and 
NamroSJvSr, 138ff. 

Venkajcahala, 267. 

Vlnkaf&chala ItihUsamMHi 262, 264, 
267, 277, 278, 281, 286; account 
contained in, compared to that 

. contained in the Gvruparam- 
pardt, 269-273: account contain- 
ed in, of Ramanttjft'* connection 
with Tit upati, 288-290; of Anan- 
tSrya, 373. 



VenkajWvara, ttmple of, 239. 
VerkkS4n, 29. 
Vibhwnt, 154. 

Vichitrachitta, a name of Mahfn- 
dravarman, 219. 

VidySdhara, BSna, 215. 

Vidyanagara, original name of 
Vijayauagar^ 424. 

Vijaya BhBpati, 458. 

Vijayabaddhavarman, ton of 
Vijayaskanda.varman, 218. 

1 Vijaya-Dantivikrama, same as 
Dantivarman, son of Naodi- 
varman llj 221. 

I Vijaya Gangagopala killed by 
Sundara P5$<}y. 334; account of, 

Vijaya Kampa, 215. 

Vijayalaya, 228; overthrew the 
power of the Pallavas, 235. 

Vijayanagar, empire, the, 342; 
establishment and expansion of 
the empire of, 417ff, 458ff ; Tiru- 
pati under, 422flf, 448ff ; ruins of, 
at Hampi, 253. 

Vijayaskandavarman IV altar 
Skandasishya, 213. 

Vijayavadi(Beswftda), 254. 

Vikrama Ch81a, 316, 317, 318, 320; 
viceroy of the Cho'las, 255; vice- 
roy over the Tirupati region, 
314-15; inscriptions of,, at Tiru- 
pati, 244, 249-50; a Vaishnava, 
275, 280, 282; hit feudatory, 
GhattideVa, a Yadavaraya, 284, 
285, 312; death of, 256. 

VikramSditya, 187; sou of Chunky a 
emperor, SSmSsvara, 254; death 
of, 255. 

VikramacLitya VI, 372;. wars of, 
with KulSttunga 7, 316; spread of 
the power of, over the Western 
Chajukya territory, 317. 

Vikramapura (Kannanflr), the old 
Hoysgla capital, 360, 397, 999, 

266, 296, 296. Vikramasimhapura (Nellore), 345. 


VillavtiSya; $mgadeVa) 338. 
Vijupparaiyans, 370. 

VimalSditya, Eaitern ChSlukya 
ruler, 245. 

Vinnagar, 61, 62, 63, 90. 

Vinnagaram, 79. 

Vira BaJlala, 360, 362, 421. 

VIra Ballt|a, III, 354, 355, 356; 
Tirupati under, 393JT; and -the 
Muhaxnraadans, 410ff; inscrip- 
tions of, at Tirupati, 314; death 
of, 415. 

Vira Gangagopala, refers to Vijaya 
Gan4ag5pala, 334, 335, 337fT. 

VIra Narasimha, the Gajapati king, 
at Tirupati on a pilgrimage, 

VIra Narasimha PerumaJ, 445. 

VIra Narasimha Yadavataya, (VIra 
Narasinga Yadavaraya) with 
Chajukya titles, 239, 313, 347, 
349; feudatory of Kulottunga III 
and Rajaraja 111, 269. 

VIra Narasinga, and TiruvSngafla- 
natha Yadavaraya, 357. 

VIra Narasingadeva, 356, 358. 

VIra Narasingapperuma|, 365; food 
service for, 353. 

Vira Narasinga Yadavaraya, 319, 
321ff, 333, 337, 359; an account of 
the relations of, with Tirupati, 
343ff; loyalty of, to the Chola 
Kings, 330-31. 

VIra Na ray an a ChaturvEdimanga- 
lam, 346. ' 

VIra Pantfya, 361; son of Mara- 
varman KulasSkhara Fanflya, 360} 
and the Muhammadan invasions, 
402, 405. 

VirarajSndra, 253-54, 318. 

VIrarakshasaraya, see VirarSkshasa 
Yadavaraya, 343. 

Virarakshasa YSdavarSya, same as 
ginga PiUai or ginga, 321, 343. 

VIra RSmanltha, a son and succts- 
sor of SSmSfvara, 999* 

Vlravarman or 'Vlraktlrcha', 213. 
Virlnchipuram, capital of the 
SambuvarSyas, 427. 

VJrUpUksha III, 448, 453, 451; and 
Narasimha's rise to power, 465fT. 

Vishnu, place of, among the early 
Tamil Gods, 191-194. 

Vishnuchitta, a name of Periya 
XlvSr, 156. 

VisbfudVva (Bi{tid?va) came to be 
known as Vishnuvardhana 271, 

Vishnog^pa, 212; son of MahSrfja 

Skandavarman, 219. 
Vishnugopa 1, 213. 
VishnugSpa II, (Yuvamaharaja) or 

1 Knmara Vishnu ', 213. 

Vishnugopa III, 213. 
Vishnugopavarman, (Yuva-MahS- 
raja), the grant of, 219. 

Vishnu-Na'Syana, gift to the 
temple of, by Charudevi, 206. 

Vishnu Tlrtha, 39. 

Vishnuvardhana, same as Vishnu- 
dSva or Bl^ideva, 271, 273. 

Vis vambara, a yT>gi, 301. 

Visvanatha, son of Ramanatha 
Hoysala, 360. 

VittaladSvarSya, (BittidSva) and 
Ramanuja, 271-273, 276. 

ViJJhalaraya, a disciple of Rama- 
nuja, 270-71. 

Vittuvakko^u (in Travancore), 168. 

VyZkat, 154. 


Warangal, kingdom of, 403 : Kaka- 
tlya rulers of, 361. ^ 

from Srlran 
led the 
at Lowex 
281-82; hi 



-temple; 368; , Saiva-VaiiJinava 
dispute regarding the deity at 
Ttrupati AIM! his decision about 
it with the help of Ramjmuja, 
888, 890; award of, that the 
temple was that of Vishnu, 291 ; 
built* the ' temple of Govinda- 
r5ja at Lower Tirupati, 293-94; 
to support the authority of. the 
Bachelor-Superintendent, 30fr ; to 
take the advice of Anantarya, 
308 j ruler, tame as GhaJ$idlia, 
312, 332, 333. 

YSdavarlya Nacchlyar, 345, 348. 

YSdavarlyas, 3l3ff, 336; claim, des- 
cent from the Sasikula Chunky as, 
Sift; related to the ChV(ukya 
family, 455-56; account of the, 
and Tirupati, 341fT; assumption 

of indeptndeaoe 'by, ^315-316; 
and the Hoyftlas, 400/f; and the 
SSluvas, 462. 

YSdavas 6f DeVagiri, 35^. 

Yadtktaktri or V*h*kZ, the Vishnu 
shrine at stf nchi/ 27, 33, 107. 

YagfiasrI, 2ia 

Y?mun5chirya, ; 381, 383, 384; visit 
-of, to Tirupati, 269; Tone '* 
assistants of Sajag5pa be 
representative of, 308; image of, 
set up by Ananttrya, 304-5. 

Yapparungalam, 56. 

YSgimallSvaram (same a Tiru- 
parHarCsvaram), 237, 256, 324, 

gghted at the Ananda Press, Madras. 


In the course of this volume we have had to 
recur several times to the composite character 
of the image of or! Venkatesa at Tirupati, and 
certain features characteristic of Siva found on 
it. These have been referred to not merely the 
early Alvars, but all the Alvars more or less 
regarded these features as forming part of the 
image of Vishnu designed for Tirupati. This 
idea of Rudra and Narayana, though of two 
separate forms, being one in substance at the 
same time, and that the form of one (Rudra) being 
found in the other is stated in stanza 98* of the 
first Centum of Poigai Alvar in the lyarpa of the 
Prabandha, 4,000. The same idea is contained in. 
Chapter 350 of the Santi Parva, Mokshadharma, 
of the Mahabharata. Reference may parti- 
cularly be made to slokas 26 and 27f which are 
set down below for ready reference. The idea of 
the oneness of Rudra with Narayana is also 

* See the quotation at foot of p. 65. 
T >wirPi ft 


enforced in a subsequent Chapter, Chapter 
of the saute boofc, pardcmWy the latter pa; 
the Chapter. This shows vj|k*t the idea h 
currency at one time and that its elaboration in 
the work of Nammilvar had authority to support it. 
The &anti Parva of the Mahabharata has been 
regarded by some as an interpolation ; but that is 
a large question for taking up for discnaskm 

By about the 5th or the 6th centtiry Af>. f 

/ </ i* 

Mahabharata came to be known generaHjr'as 
work of one hundred thousand filokftt^6*tisik 
sri, and this description cannot iekckide - if 
^anti Parva as a whole. Anyhow, the 
in the Mahabharata would certainly be i 
ing in this connection and is referred to here for 
what it is worth, as evidence of the prevalence 
of this general notion among ihe Vishgu Bhafctas